Home News Community Fond memories and warm tributes for renowned vintage enthusiast

Fond memories and warm tributes for renowned vintage enthusiast

The late Joe Ryan, Portlaoise, pictured at the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska, Co Laois. Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie

There have been glowing tributes and fond memories recalled following the death of one of Portlaoise town’s most senior citizens.

Joe Ryan from the Abbeyleix Road died at home yesterday, March 22, surrounded by his loving family. He was 90 years of age.

Joe was a popular character who had enjoyed good health until recent months. He was particularly well known and fondly remembered in the vintage rally circuit.

There was hardly a vintage event held in the midlands that Joe was not present and there are countless great photos of him taken by Alf Harvey, depicting his enthusiasm for so many wonderful machines and contraptions.

During the summer months there was scarcely a Sunday would go by that Joe would not attend a vintage rally, displaying his own mechanisms and delighting in the displays of others, most often accompanied by his son Murt.

There was hardly a machine that Joe could not repair or restore and he was famed for his skill in this regard. Many a troublesome lawnmower he turned his hand to was put right for yet another season.

But Joe’s love of all things mechanical came a distant second to his deep love of his family.

Club Vitae at the Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise payed a lovely tribute to Joe on their Facebook this morning.

“”At 90 years of age, Joe was our oldest member. Up until recent months, Joe came in for his daily swim, you could set your watch by him. He even cycled up to us in the summer months!!

“He was known to sweeten us up with a handful of Werthers Original in return for a copy of the daily paper. He would leave then, telling us Eileen would have a list of jobs waiting for him.

“A true gent, we miss him already.”

Joe Ryan of the Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise, died peacefully, at his residence, on Sunday, March 22, surrounded by his loving family.

Beloved husband of Eileen, and dearly loved father to Martin, Eileen, Catherine, Caroline and Siobhan.

Deeply regretted by his loving family, brother Donnacha, sons-in-law John McCourt and Kenneth Glynn, daughter-in-law Mary, grandchildren Karen, Shauna, James, Hollyrose, Stephen and David; great-grandchildren Kian and Mia, nephews, nieces, relatives and a large circle of friends.

A family requiem Mass will be held at 12 noon tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, followed by interment in SS Peter and Paul’s Cemetery, Portlaoise.

Covid-19 protocol will be observed. House strictly private.

A memorial mass will take place at a later date. Please use online condolence book to express your sympathies at this time.

The late Joe Ryan on board his Triang 3 wheeler at The Rock Inn Vintage Rally.
Picture: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

See Also: Deaths in Laois, Monday, March 23.

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John Whelan has been a journalist, commentator, columnist, political analyst, campaigner, politician and publisher ever since he was 17. Having been Editor of the Leinster Express, Offaly Express and the Leinster Leader he has also contributed extensively on a number of issues to all of the country's flagship titles and programmes including the Irish Press, The Irish Independent, the Star, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Times and Prime Time. He is founder of Communicate Ireland a PR, public affairs, event management and media services company. He is the author of the popular camping blog, Vanhalla - Camper Heaven.