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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Gareth spellbound again by 'untouchable' Gerry

Former radio DJ Gareth O'Callaghan
Former radio DJ Gareth O'Callaghan

Listening to the voice of the late broadcaster Gerry Ryan again was both mind-blowing and mesmerising, a close friend has said.

Former radio DJ Gareth O'Callaghan, who is writing his next book despite being diagnosed with the rare life-changing and incurable disease multiple system atrophy (MSA), said it was the "strangest experience he ever heard on radio" hearing his old friend's voice again.

The father-of-three who came to national prominence when he first worked on RTE's 2FM 40 years ago, left his role at Classic Hits FM last summer after receiving the diagnosis of his neurodegenerative illness.

Loved

The progressive disease results in a loss of function and death of different types of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Around 3,000 people in Ireland and the UK have been diagnosed with the illness.

Eleven days ago, 2FM celebrated its 40th birthday and Ryan's daughter Lottie, who is also a broadcaster, introduced the voice of her much-loved late father as the station looked back over the years and its famous DJs who graced the airwaves.

"I have to admit it was the strangest experience I've listened to, possibly ever on radio," O'Callaghan said.

"Of course, truth is it was all down to the latest sound technology, and patient, caring, listening ears trawling back through hours and hours of Gerry's old radio shows.

"I was so impressed, but I was also so, what's the word?

"I can't find it. Spellbound? Absolutely.

"If anything, it made me realise just how much he is missed by so many.

"I know that if he was still alive, he would still be the untouchable king of morning radio that he was for so many years.

"Lottie Ryan introduced her late dad on the dot of nine o'clock and, for those who missed it, for the next hour we listened to Gerry as if in realtime.

"He was talking to us as if it was this morning."

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