Gerry Ryan is (alas) dead; RTE’s self-importance is alive and well

3 May, 2010

I thought Gerry Ryan was an accomplished and entertaining broadcaster, and it’s genuinely sad that he has died.  But is it really the case that his death justified the POPE IS DEAD sort of coverage that RTE gave it?  He was an Irish radio personality, for God’s sake, not an international superstar or the President of the United States.

Some RTE television news editor decided that the first eight minutes of the main evening news last Friday should be devoted to Gerry Ryan’s death.  The same news programme eventually got around to telling us about the resolution of the Greek debt crisis and the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.  This is just embarrassing, and tells you all you need to know about the clique that runs RTE.  As my daughter would say, they are so up themselves.  Sack that news editor, I say.

RTE is so supremely self-regarding, and so incapable of seeing beyong its own little parish, that we then had to have the main weekly talk show re-jigged at short notice and largely devoted to a tribute to Gerry Ryan.  A modest documentary on Gerry, made and broadcast a couple of weeks after his death, would have been a more appropriate response.

But it was ever thus.  Somebody should really do an analysis of just how much of RTE’s output consists of one RTE broadcaster interviewing another RTE celebrity (sic).  And don’t get me started on George Lee and Charlie Bird, those two almost-graduates of the Montrose Montessori.

I better stop now, or this will turn into a rant.  But you see ….  it’s just that I was in fact really saddened by Gerry Ryan’s death, and so it was all the more annoying to have those overpaid and over-indulged bozos in RTE make such a meal of it.  I would like to think Gerry would agree with me.


7 Responses to “Gerry Ryan is (alas) dead; RTE’s self-importance is alive and well”

  1. niamh Says:

    hi, I think you stopped to late! That qualifies as a rant already in my book. Its the people whose lives Gerry was the background voice to for twenty years that are being considered in the coverage, because you see he wasn’t a `celebrity`, his radio programme was somewhere where anything could still be said, his was a voice, no matter how much i often argued with him in my head, was a touchstone for many lives. A look forward to a glut of coverage…

  2. Coleen Says:

    Unfortunatley we always get some stupid asshole who thinks they are doing the world a favour by voicing their optinions at the most inoportune moment.
    If thats your opinion, fine I dont have a problem with that but keep it to yourself.
    I fully believe you are aware of the hurt and anger you must have caused by printing your comments, you should ask yourself what is wrong with you that you have to do that.
    Its very obvious who is ‘so up themselves’………

    • Elisahq Says:

      “If thats your opinion, fine I dont have a problem with that but keep it to yourself.”

      Clearly you do have a problem with it, or you wouldn’t have written a three paragraph comment.

      How is he causing hurt and anger? The only people who could reasonably claim to be hurt by this are busy mourning at the moment, and not perusing some two-bit blog at the arse-end of the Internet.

  3. PuckstownLane Says:

    Coleen: If you read my comments properly, you would understand that I am one of the multitude who are genuinely saddened by Gerry’s death. My gripe is with his former colleagues in RTE, and the disproportionate coverage of his death, and certainly not with him. I would suggest that even Gerry would think the media treatment was over the top.

  4. Niamh B. Says:

    I fully agree with Coleen.A very distasteful comment to say the least.Generations young and old grew up with Gerry Ryan,he was a national icon,he’s opinions and idiologies-even if topical or not had some sort of effect on everyone who listened to him.He was a genius and a fantastic broadcaster,he’s was the back-bone of RTE so why not deserve the coverage he got.I for one found myself buying two papers over the last few days and listening to the news on the hour to hear any updates.Were sick of hearing about Nama,job losses and the Greek economy.A kind hearted father and friend-familiar to us all broadcaster,has died suddenly-of course we want coverage on it.Here Here to RTE for theyre excellent tribute to a legend!!

  5. Frank Says:


    You seem to be the sole voice of reason, currently in our midst; particularly when no such debate has begun in the mainstream media, on this subject.

    It is indeed very sad when someone as young as Gerry Ryan passes away. What really worries me is that no one is challenging the combined reaction of both RTÉ and The Irish Times to this event.

    One really has to question their ability to give a proportionate response to anything. The decision to televise Gerry’s funeral is the ultimate example of this. If Gerry is so deserving of this honour, why shouldn’t every senior civil servant, retired Bord na Mona boss, etc. be afforded the same privilege?

    The group-think, that is manifest here, is risible and one of the reason why we have such a malfunctioning society, economy and political culture. No doubt, the same dynamic will produce a group-amnesia on this subject, and its perceived importance, in years to come.

  6. Paul Walsh Says:

    Please leave this debate for a while at least any let his family and fans get over it.

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