Deep sadness as arrangements for funeral of beloved Darren announced

The late Darren Ryan (left) with his triplet brothers Evan and Gavin. Photo: Facebook

FUNERAL arrangements have been announced for a much-loved father of one who died when his minibus collided with a bridge close to the Limerick Clare border, last Sunday.

Darren Ryan, an “outstanding” rugby player, and well known bus contractor from Meelick, Co Clare, was one of triplet boys who played rugby together with St Munchins College, and Young Munster RFC.

His sister Dawn Ryan was selected as the Limerick Rose in 2014, and his father Ray Ryan, Ray Ryan Coach Hire, Meelick, was a former Irish international u-20 rugby star who also lined out with Young Munster’s.

Mr Ryan’s minibus collided with Athlunkard Bridge on the R463 at around 2.55am last Sunday. Mr Ryan was the sole occupant in the bus and no other vehicle was involved, Gardaí said.

Henry Street Gardaí have appealed for witnesses or anyone with video/dash cam footage that may assist their investigation into the circumstances of the fatal collision.

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An inquest will be held at a later date at Limerick Coroner’s Court.

The 30-year old’s remains will repose in McMahon’s funeral home, Blackwater, Ardnacrusha, from 5pm-8pm Wednesday.

Mr Ryan’s funeral mass will take place at 11am Thursday, at St John the Baptist Church, Meelick, followed by burial in Ballycannon Cemetery.

A tribute released by Young Munster RFC read: “Everyone in Young Munster RFC is shocked and saddened of the sudden loss of former player Darren Ryan. Our immediate thoughts are with the Ryan family in particular his parents Ray & Trish and siblings Evan, Gavin and Dawn and his son Raemie who Darren adored.”

“The Ryan family have a long tradition of playing with Young Munster. Darren, a back row forward, began playing underage with the club and schools rugby with St Munchins College from where he went on to be part of our Senior squad from 2013 – 2018 having played in the All Ireland league Semi Final in 2017 against Clontarf FC and also played on the winning Munster Junior Cup team in 2016 versus Cork Constitution FC.”

“Darren’s triplet brothers Evan & Gavin were also part of the Young Munster squads during this time and his dad Ray was second row in the famous Young Munster All Ireland winning league team in 1993.”

“Darren was an outstanding player whose character lit up the dressing room. He will be remembered fondly by all who had the pleasure of playing with and coaching him, he will be sorely missed by all in Young Munster and the wider rugby community.”

Mr Ryan also represented Kilfeacle RFC and Garryowen FC in latter years.

Garryowen RFC said it was “deeply saddened” to learn of Mr Ryan’s death.

“Darren was a larger than life character who brought fun and humour to the dressing room to defuse even the most tense of situations.”

“Darren was a gifted footballer who’s natural skill and steely determination greatly enhanced our team and he was a natural leader. Darren played his last game for us last season when he made a cameo appearance for Garryowen in Thomond Park against Shannon in the AIL.”

“Darren won Munster Senior Cup and Bateman Cup with us after joining from Young Munster who we join along with the rest of the rugby fraternity in mourning the loss of Darren.”

“To the Ryan family, words can’t express how much we feel your loss and the pain of losing Darren but please take some comfort in knowing he was much loved and respected both as a player and friend by all of us lucky enough to have had him in our lives.”