Eddie Ryan (1962-1992)

West Senior Hurling final program, July 1995


West final day is an appropriate time to remember a young man who made a significant contribution to the sporting life of Cashel and who infected all around him with his great joie de vivre.

Playing in the 1980 west final against Sean Treacy's at Dundrum Eddie Ryan ensured victory for Cashel King Cormac's by scoring the insurance point in the dying minutes of extra time in the replay. Still only eighteen years of age he played an important role in bringing a county minor title to the club the same year. It was the culmination of a successful underage career in hurling and football which saw Eddie win under 12 and under-14 titles, at divisional and county levels, between 1972 and 1975. He was to continue playing at under-21 and senior levels in the early eighties but probably never realised the promise of his earlier years.

Part of the reason was his departure from Cashel to study Agricultural Science in U.C.D. During his first year he played on the college team and also showed his prowess as a sprinter by winning the 100 metres in the college sports. However, of a relaxed nature and more interested in the craic and the joy of living, training began to take second place in his life and the hurler or footballer he might have been never got the chance to develop.

As well as G.A.A. rugby played an important part in his life. From the age of about sixteen he played with Cashel, either at scrum-half or first centre, and in the course of time won a Garryowen and a Mansergh Cup with the club.

A further interest was the Cashel Gun Club. For him November 1 was a sacrosanct day when everything else had to play second fiddle to a day's shooting. This aspect of his life is remembered lovingly every year on the first day of the shooting season by Tom Hayes, who places a pheasant's feather on his grave.

By your friends you shall be remembered. Eddie had a load of them both in Cashel where he never lost touch with the local scene and whereto he regularly returned to watch and support the local teams, and in his job as agricultural adviser with Bayer (Ireland) Ltd. Last year his friends in Bayer contributed in order to establish a fitting memorial to his name. They had a trophy specially sculpted, which they presented to West Bord na nOg and which replaced the Caiseal Ri Chormaic Cup for the divisional under-14 'B' hurling championship. The money outstanding after the commissioning of the trophy was presented to Cashel Bord na nÓg for the promotion of youth activity in the town.

It was a fitting way to remember Eddie Ryan, who had such a successful career as a young player with Cashel. The trophy was presented to Bord na nOg last year and the first winners were Lattin-Cullen. The second name to be inscribed on the trophy is that of Eddie's own club, Caiseal Ri Chormaic, who succeeded in beating Eire Og in the final last Sunday night. It was the club's first victory in the competition since 1983, a sign of the decline in underage success in the town since the glory days of the seventies when Eddie was in his prime.