The man who buried many thousands of Irish people in West London last went to his own final resting place.
Local funeral director Patrick ‘Paddy’ Ryan, originally from Limerick, passed away peacefully on 18 June, aged 85.
His funeral undertakers’ firm Patrick Ryan and Daughter touched the lives of many, many Irish families at a hugely sensitive time in their lives and his kindnesses and consideration made him much loved and very popular.
Londoners will have an opportunity to say their farewells and pay their respects at a Memorial Mass this Saturday 6 July at 8pm in Our Lady of the Visitation Church, 358 Greenford Rd, Greenford UB6 9AN.
Paddy came to London to in his early 20s from his native Cappamore. He settled in the Cricklewood area, and found work in a variety of trades before he started Ryan’s School of Motoring in Greenford where he taught many members of the local Irish community to drive.
It was also where he met his beloved wife, Marjorie (‘Marje’). They wed in The Visitation Church, Greenford and went on to have two children.
In 1977 Paddy and Marge founded the family funeral business in South Ealing.
Today Patrick Ryan and Daughter is run by their daughter Lynn, son-in-law Paul and their grandchildren, Rob and Catrina.
In the decades since 1977, Paddy brought many thousands of Irish people to their final resting places here and in Ireland.
As an innovator in a very conservative profession, he was among the very first, if not the first, in the country to import hearses and provide large chapels of rest for the bereaved to hold funeral services for their loved ones.
He took on airlines when routes from London to Ireland were cancelled and dedicated his business life to helping his local Irish community in their hardest times.
His grandson, Rob, said: “Paddy was truly a one-off and the biggest character I have ever met.
“The number of messages, phone calls and letters we have received reflected how much of an impact he had on people and goes to show that with Paddy it really was once met, never forgotten.
“Paddy will be sorely missed not just by his loving family but by his wide circle of friends, both here in the UK and back in his native Ireland.”