The Death of Vincent Ryan (Sep 04)
It was with sadness that I heard of Vincent's death. He died suddenly on September 8th and his funeral was on Saturday.
I encountered Vincent both professionally and in trade union circles back in the late 80's. He was a stickler for detail.He could be very difficult at trade union meetings and it wasn't until Paddy Henry brought out the inherent humour in Vincent that I began to understand him.Vincent was a rare person, a character who had a way with words, many of which the Irish author Roddy Doyle would have been proud of.
He told many stories and a particualr one is worth repeating. Vincent was drawing the dole in Dublin and was in the habit of going to one particular woman clerk to be signed on. She got to know him well. Vincent liked to have a cream tea in the Gresham Hotel in O'Connell Street in Dublin - a good quality hotel for those who may not know it and somewhat at odds for someone who was drawing the dole! On one particular day when he was well into the tea and cakes the lady from the dole office came into the hotel and saw Vincent enjoying his beverage and ensconsed in the Irish Times. In some surprise she greeted him with, 'Mr Ryan, what are you doing here?' Vincent lowered the paper and replied, ' Just popped in to see how the other half lives!'
Another version of the same story puts Vincent in the Moet Chandon ('Mote Shandon' as Vincent pronounced it) tent at a reception at Ballsbridge showground in Dublin when the same lady happened upon him. These are the two versions I know and I'm sure there's others!
Vincent was only with us for a short time at St Francis after which he returned to Ireland. Paddy Henry had hopes of having him back to see us and enjoy his company. I spent a few hours with him on one of our postponed reunions and little did I know then that his days with us were to be so short.
He will be missed. We send his family and friends our sincere condolences and may he rest in peace. JH