Monday 20 November 2017

Legend Rose remembered

ROSE RYAN left the field of dreams last week. The Dundrum church was packed.

A fond farewell. There was much to celebrate. They arrived from all over the country.

They recalled times past, memories shared; matches won and lost, the laughs ... the parties.

Rose loved music. She was an accomplished musician. She'd dance on a six-pence. After many a game, there was a hooley in the kitchen. Rose's kitchen.

She played with Eoghan Ruadh and Muiris O'Neill's. She was versatile. Whatever number was handed out, she accepted it gratefully -- goalkeeper, midfield or forward.

She gave it socks. But the result wasn't the be-all and end-all. There was too much living to do. So much to cherish and embrace in the Rose Garden.

And she could see the bigger picture. She spent a year toiling in the Romanian orphanages. She brought those with special needs to Lourdes.


She was generous. In the pub, she'd always insist on buying a drink for everybody in the audience.

Rose enjoyed good company. She liked to travel. She worked in Bord Bainne. Her kindly voice dripped with encouragement.

She had a masters' degree for giving the pat on the back, or the arm around the shoulder.

Last week, so many players remembered a kind word that pointed them in the right direction. She had the priceless gift of instilling a dollop of confidence, the spoonful of sugar.

She had a smile that could light up the Phoenix Park.

Goodness knows, she spent enough time there, so often accompanied by her two faithful friends, Fionn and Mac.

Rose had a sharp eye for spotting potential. And she delighted in helping to mould the finished product.

In the '70s and '80s, she was a Dublin selector at senior and junior level. She was also an inter-county referee. She took charge of the 1986 All-Ireland Junior final in Croke Park.

It was one of the biggest honours of her life. In preparation, she put in the extra miles on Sandymount Strand during her lunch hour.

She never lost her affection for the craft, and those that kept petrol in its engines.

She was born in 1937. She was aptly named. She lifted the mood.

Rose Ryan was part of Dublin in the rare auld times.

Her memory will continue to inspire.

All felt it was a privilege to have been in the same room.

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