Obituary: Jimmy Ryan, the proud Limerick publican and devoted family man

Obituary: Jimmy Ryan, the proud Limerick publican and devoted family man

The late Jimmy Ryan

THE PASSING of well-known Jimmy Ryan, of Bank Place, Doon has caused great sadness throughout the community and beyond, and among his beloved family and friends.

Jimmy is survived by his loving wife Sheila, daughters Nicola, Joanna and Orla, son Roger, brother Rogie, sisters Josephine and Margaret, sons-in-law Mikey, James and Brendan, daughter-in-law Jean and his adored grandchildren Donnacha, Aisling, Sean, Sophia and Fionn.

Jimmy was born on May 25, 1948. He was the eldest of five siblings, Rogie, Fintan, Margaret and Joesphine. They were a tight knit, hardworking family who were deeply involved in all aspects of the community.

At a young age Jimmy contracted TB. As a result of this and consequential rehab he spent 18 months which spanned two Christmases in Croom Hospital with limited visitation from his family in Doon. The months spent in Croom were incredibly significant in paving the way for Jimmy’s passions and career.

Due to his immobilisation, his only form of therapy was to use his hands through arts and crafts. Those 18 difficult months spent in Croom, instilled determination, ambition and steel that he carried with him and applied to every aspect of his life.

Jimmy studied to be a quantity surveyor in the School of Building, Bolton Street, Dublin. Soon after qualifying, Jimmy met his wife Sheila at the dances in Dromkeen and fell in love. They left east Limerick for greener pastures by moving to London in 1971. London is where Jimmy’s quantity surveying and construction skills flourished.

He was involved in some big developments such as the redevelopment of Upton Park and Shakespeare Tower. He was also a member of Sean Treacy, St Marys and later and most significantly Robert Emmets GAA club in East London. Here, Jimmy and Sheila made many lifelong friends. Their daughters, Nicola, Joanna and Orla were all born in London which they have fond memories of.

Hurling was an immense love of Jimmy’s. He played competitively with Doon, Limerick and Robert Emmets GAA. Some noticeable achievements were U-21 County Championship 1966 as captain and 1967, minor hurling 1965, Dr. Rodgers Cup beating Rockwell College in the final in 1965, the Corn Phadraig in 1967, London Junior Championship in 1978 as captain and the London Intermediate Championship in 1979.

Below is a snippet about Jimmy and his brother Rogie from the County Junior Final in 1967 called Ballad to the Doon Juniors of 1967

“Our midfielders sure you will find them,

The Ryan brothers of fame and renown,

After seeing them play in the final,

On them you would place a crown”

On Jimmy and his family’s return to Doon from London in 1981, he became heavily involved in the community and was chairman of Doon Community Council on a number of occasions throughout the years.

Jimmy was involved in numerous community events, most notably the Sean O’Sullivan fundraiser in 1992 which brought together the players from the Limerick v Tipperary 1973 Munster Final for a rematch played in Barry’s field. And the construction of the all-weather pitch in Doon which was opened by John Hayes in 2010.

Jimmy was a proud publican, having owned and ran Jimmys from 1989 to 2005, which is now run by his daughter Joanna and son-in-law James Fox. Jimmy, undoubtedly, was a community man.  He acquired great joy and satisfaction when involved in the development of the parish.

For Jimmy, family came before everything else. He was a very proud father, husband, son, brother and grandfather. As the eldest in his own family he developed strong relationships with his aunts, uncles and grandparents. In a way he assumed the role of a man before his years, and they relied heavily on his advice and intuition as he did theirs. He is greatly missed and loved by all dear to him. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam

Jimmy Ryan’s month’s mind Mass is this Friday, June 7 in Doon church at 7.30pm.