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20/10/2021

Sadness following death of freeman of Limerick and artist with 'extraordinary talent'

Sadness following death of freeman of Limerick and artist with 'extraordinary talent'

The late artist and freeman of Limerick Dr Thomas Ryan RHA (pictured in 2016)

THE Mayor of Limerick city and county has paid tribute to the late artist and freeman of Limerick, Dr Thomas Ryan, RHA who has died.

Born in St Joseph’s Street, Limerick in 1929, Dr Ryan grew up in Davis Street in the city. He was educated in the former Limerick School of Art and what is now the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

Paying tribute following his passing, Cllr Daniel Butler described the late Dr Ryan as an ‘extraordinary talent and one of Ireland’s most significant artists’ who had a long association with the Mid-West and was extremely proud of where he came from. 

“As a young boy he played in the People’s Park and in the heart of Georgian Limerick and despite his success and talent, he was a man with a lifelong attachment to this city,”  Mayor Butler said.

“Although Ashbourne and County Meath became his home, he was always a proud Limerickman and was very touched when he received the Honorary Freedom of Limerick city along with broadcaster Terry Wogan 14 years ago - pictured below with former Mayor Cllr Joe Leddin.

Dr Ryan reached the highest level in his career but never forgot his roots and celebrated his 90th birthday in his home in the city.

From his medallic work designing the old Irish pound coin and millennium fifty pence piece to his stunning art pieces working across a variety of media including oil paints, watercolours, chalks, charcoal and pencil, he painted some of the country’s most familiar faces including former Taoisigh, Presidents and some of Ireland’s most important historical works.

“We were honoured that one of his last exhibitions of 40 of his paintings from his long working life spanning over 70 years went on display at the People's Museum of Limerick in 2019, just across from the park where he spent so much time as a young boy. I would like to extend my condolences to Dr Ryan’s wife Mary, children, Pearse, John, Ann, Myles, Eavan, Aengus, 16 grandchildren, extended family and his many friends,“ said Mayor Butler.

Thomas Ryan's Funeral Mass will take place on Friday morning in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Ashbourne at 11.30am.

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