herald

Friday 22 September 2017

Callous vandals destroy Gerry tribute bench

HEARTLESS thugs have burned the memorial bench for broadcaster Gerry Ryan to the ground.

Gardai have been informed about the incident which appears to be a deliberate arson attack on the bench in Herbert Park. The memorial was torched in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The late 2fm DJ's partner Melanie Verwoerd was responsible for the installation of the seat -- her own personal tribute in Herbert Park.

And the memorial plaque which Melanie had personally written has also disappeared.

Park ranger Tony Nolan said that the bench was still smouldering when he arrived at approximately 9.40am just before the park was due to open.

Mr Nolan said that the individuals responsible were clearly determined to destroy the bench.

"I looked for the plaque but it wasn't in the ashes," he said. "There is no way it would have burned so they must have robbed it.

"A bench like that would not light easily so they must have covered it in lighter fuel."



Heartbroken

Mr Nolan said that he was not aware of whether Ms Verwoerd had been informed of the arson attack but commented that he imagined she would be "heartbroken".

The park ranger said that they would be investigating CCTV footage at the entrance in an attempt to identify the culprits.

And he said that this was the worst incident he has seen in his 14 years on the job.

"There is a local disco around the corner and lots of the kids come up before and after, drink alcohol and cause trouble," he said.

"This has been going on for weeks now.

"It's disgusting and my boss will be reporting it to the gardai."

Mr Ryan (53) was found dead at his apartment at Upper Leeson Street in Dublin by Ms Verwoerd on April 30, 2010. The plaque on the bench had the inscription: "For Gerry (5 June 1956 -- 30 April 2010) 'Seasons may change winter to spring, but I love you till the end of time' Melanie."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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