Europe

Cocaine 'likely trigger' in RTE star Gerry Ryan's death

  • 10 December 2010
  • From the section Europe
Gerry Ryan
Image caption Gerry Ryan was found dead at his home in Dublin in April

Traces of cocaine were the likely trigger that led to the death of Irish broadcaster Gerry Ryan, an inquest in Dublin has heard.

A coroner said Mr Ryan's heart was normal, but cocaine probably triggered a cardiac arrhythmia that resulted in his death.

Mr Ryan, 53, was found dead at his apartment at Upper Leeson Street in Dublin on 30 April.

The drug traces were found during toxicology tests in Dublin.

Coroner Dr Eamon Leann said alcohol levels in Mr Ryan's body were nowhere near the level that might cause complications.

He said traces of cocaine were "low". He said the presence of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, suggested previous use of cocaine, but could also have been as a result of a previous viral myocarditis.

Risk factor

But he agreed with coroner Dr Brian Farrell that the use of cocaine was a "significant risk factor" in Mr Ryan's death.

In a statement Morah Ryan, Gerry's former wife from whom he was separated, said the family were glad that the inquest was over.

"In these difficult times for so many families in our country, we want to take this opportunity to say to anyone under stress, or with pressure or worries of any kind to reach out for personal support and professional help. Gerard was a communicator and yet he too struggled," she said.

"If today is to mean something, it is to offer encouragement. If it is to have a message it is that there is always someone to share your problem with, someone to offer professional advice and someone to shine light into your life when you need it most.

"There is always someone to ask. That is the simple message Gerard would have dearly wished from today."

Mr Ryan's morning radio show on RTE 2FM was the most popular on the Irish airwaves, featuring a mix of current affairs and irreverent humour.

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