Clara and the wider Kilkenny community are in mourning today following the tragic death yesterday of local man Johnny Ryan in a farming accident.
It is believed the accident happened when Mr Ryan stepped down from his tractor while out working. Two investigations into the incident, which happened around 11am yesterday, remain ongoing.
The family is well known in GAA and community circles, and Mr Ryan was a very popular and well-liked man. Clara GAA chairperson Carmel Brennan has said the entire parish is stunned following his death.
“The Ryan family has long been the backbone of the club and Johnny and his brothers have always been involved in all the various parish activities and committees,” she said.
“Johnny and his brothers were always the first to volunteer, be it stewarding or parking cars, preparing for matches etc. In fact we had a job to convince Johnny not to steward in a car park on the night of the homecoming when Lester was bringing back the Liam McCarthy cup to our club the Monday night after the All-Ireland.
“His wife, Lilly, was equally involved, always there to help, always there to bring the lads to matches, cheer on the teams etc. Our hearts go out to her and to the boys and the wider Ryan family,” she said.
“Johnny’s father Liam was a founding member of the club and it was Johnny who started juvenile training for our young players on Saturday mornings. He was on our executive committee for years and was a centre back in the 1986 team which won the Clara’s first ever County Championship in 1986. Johnny was also the captain of the Masters Over 40 team of 1988.
“We are stunned and saddened by his untimely death and all club activities have been cancelled until further notice as a mark of respect to his entire family.”