Templeneiry Church in Bansha was packed to overflowing last night as the late Darby Ryan was remembered. Darby Ryan died in 1855 and is recognised by a significant memorial erected in 1907 by “Relatives, Friends and Admirers”.
The beautiful weather provided a lovely backdrop to the multifaceted event.
Two of the great, great, great grandchildren(John & Claire Grogan) of Darby Ryan, Ashgrove, Bansha began the event when they re-dedicated the memorial which has been recently cleaned by Wally Costigan from Cahir. A street theatre element saw local man, Liam Bergin, come to the graveside and tell the story of how the memorial stone was sourced in County Wexford. John Grogan then read a poem about Darby Ryan composed by Bansha man Martin Quinn.
Events moved indoors where guests were seated to the accompaniment of a harpist – Ms Hanna O’Connor(Ballyglass House Hotel). Dr Des Marnane provided a detailed account of the historical records of Darby Ryan’s life and analysed the differences in how his works are recorded in three different collections of Irish Poetry and Folklore.
Darby Ryan composed in both Irish and English – Donachadh O’Duibhir and Nancy Leahy provided the audience with an insight into the talent and poetry of Darby Ryan by reciting a number of his works.
Two musical performances of songs by Darby Ryan really engaged the audience – John Russel sang “The Peeler and the Goat” while Sean Quinn delivered “The Galbally Farmer”.
Members of the extended Ryan family from Nottingham, UK and from New York, USA attended the event which grew into so much more than a monument cleaning when members of the Bansha community reached out to help celebrate the life of it’s native son Darby Ryan.
The organising Committee also compiled a Commemorative Booklet for the occasion – now available at Catherine O’Connell’s shop, Main street, Bansha.
Committee members: Mary Alice O’Connor, Donnchadh O’Dhuibhir, John Grogan, Nancy Murphy, Kitty O’Donovan, Johnny Murphy, James & Breda Hayes, Helen Morrissey, Liam Bergin, Nuala Gleeson, Anne Whyte and Billy Morrissey.