herald

Thursday 23 November 2017

Babette read Gerry's autobiography to him at 'perfect' wake

BRAVE: Star's five doting children carried grieving adults through

GERRY Ryan's 10-year-old daughter Babette sat beside her dad's body and read extracts from his autobiography at his wake.

Long-term friend Dave Fanning has told how it was the five children -- Lottie (23), Rex (20), Bonnie (17), Elliot (14) and Babette -- who carried the grieving adults through.

On the night before Gerry (53) was buried, those closest to him were gathered for the wake at the family home in Clontarf, where everyone told stories about Gerry and shared their fond memories of him.

Dave said: "Within the closed curtains of the house and with the body lying there, I think people probably would like to know the kids are great, they really were brilliant.

"Babette is the best, she was sitting there reading Gerry's autobiography to him. We joked 'that would put you to sleep'.

"She was nudging him saying 'come on' and somebody else was doing a jig around the place and it was lovely, it was perfect."

Dave (54) added: "They are resilient beyond belief, that probably doesn't surprise people because kids are more resilient than a lot of adults are.

"It's all about Morah now in terms of the future for them," he said.

Gerry's adored children all took turns saying their private goodbyes. They made sure that Gerry was dressed in his favourite black Louis Copeland suit and wearing his trademark glasses.

They stayed up all night to bid a final farewell to their much-loved dad.

Earlier that evening, a steady stream of stars and the Taoiseach Brian Cowen had visited the family home to pay their respects.

Meanwhile, another family friend said: "The kids are absolutely heartbroken, but they are amazing children, they did him proud.

"Everyone is really happy with how the funeral went, it went just the way they wanted it to. They are so thankful to everyone involved and to the public for their amazing support."

She said that as much as they are mourning Gerry's passing, they are also determined to remember him how he was, full of life, laughter and mischief.

She said: "Thanks to the kids, there is a lot of life still in the Ryan house. Gerry made sure of that.

"Losing Gerry has been the toughest thing any of them has had to go through. Lottie is 23 but Babette is only 10 so she's very young to be without her father.

"They really showed how strong they are over the last few days though. They showed their own characters too. The wake was like any Irish wake, everyone told stories about Gerry, talked about where and when they met him.

"There was a lot of laughter, a few drinks and it was a real celebration of his life.

"Things will be very tough for the family and everyone who knew Gerry really well over the next few weeks," she added.

fdillon@herald.ie

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