All loved ones should be recognised in time of grief.

The whole nation is in shock at the sudden death of RTÉ’s broadcaster Gerry Ryan which occurred yesterday.
He had a long and distinguished career with 2FM , the latest JNLR figures put his daily listener-ship at 307,000. There will be many great tributes written and broadcast about Gerry’s legacy over the next few days. Since the news broke the media’s extensive coverage have mentioned his five children and his wife, Morah from whom he was separated, (as they should) but very little mention has been given to his partner Melanie.

To give you an example RTÉ’s on line news at 20.20 (Friday 30th) “He is survived by his five children and his wife, Morah, from whom he was separated.”

Despite radical transformation of Irish society over the past 10 years, there is still a social stigma when it comes to speaking about the partner of someone separated. There are thousands of separated men and women in Ireland living happily in second relationships.
I’m sure the grief and trauma felt by Melanie must have been unbearable, we should be able to extend our sympathies equally to the partners of deceased. Former spouse in general have extended family they can turn to in grief, partners can sometime feel isolated and forgotten having lost the love in their life. It appears that many media outlets felt embarrassed to speak of Melanie grief, an action which may have caused her more suffering. It’s time all in society acknowledge the grief felt by all loved ones.

At 53 Gerry Ryan had still so much to offer and his untimely death, has left a large void in Irish broadcasting. My sympathise to wife Morah, and five children, his partner Melanie, extended family and friends.

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