Community notes September 18th
September 14, 2021
Percy Ryan RIP
The recent death of Percy Ryan MRCVS cast a dark shadow over his adopted and much loved Timoleague and surrounding area. Though not in the best of health towards the end, not even Percy’s sheer single mindedness and utter determination not to mention his medical knowledge over a lifetime in veterinary practice could prolong the final call when it came.
Percy first saw the light in famed Holycross, Co Tipperary, born into a farming family of ten children. He fondly recalled that his memories of growing up in Tipperary were of hard work on the family farm, hurling and dancing. He attended the local national school before going on to Thurles CBS and finishing his second level education at Rockwell College. While at Rockwell, he captained the Harty Cup team. He also played underage and senior hurling with Holycross alongside the legendary John Doyle.
In 1960 he left for Dublin to study veterinary at UCD. Strange to say he never did play rugby at Rockwell because The Ban was in place at the time. That changed when he entered UCD. The vet college team was strong at the time and included three players that would later play with Ireland. One of those was Mick Doyle of Castleisland who later managed Ireland to win a Triple Crown and Championship.
On qualifying as a veterinary surgeon in 1965 he took up his first job with Eric Maydew in Clonakilty. While there he met the love of his life Eileen Scannell and they married in September 1966. He later worked in Carrigaline before joining Riverview Veterinary Practice in Bandon in 1972, serving the Timoleague and Barryroe area. The newly married couple lived in Courtmacsherry initially before moving to their newly built home at Cregane in 1973. Thus, began the Timoleague phase of Percy’s life. In his professional career he was a gifted veterinary surgeon. He was especially interested in research and was one of the foremost authorities on embryo transfer. He lectured abroad and set up Premier Embryos Ireland in 1983, gradually moving away from general practice.
The Ryan family of Cregane took root with the arrival of Don, Niamh, Shane, Niall and Ethne. Eileen was the home maker and was happiest keeping an eye on the domestic end of the operation. Percy got involved in many projects for the betterment of Timoleague. While his sons were attending boarding school at Farranferris he organised a bus that brought the local students to and from the city. So popular was the service that a number of parents from Barryroe and Kilbrittain also availed of this very practical facility for their sons. The Tidy Town movement was especially close to his heart. Together with his next door neighbour and life- long friend Humphrey Coleman, they set in train the establishment of the Timoleague to Courtmacsherry Walkway. Percy was chairman of the local Tidy Towns Association for many years and the fruits of his labour are plain to be seen. He was responsible for the ground work that had to be done before the arrival of national awards for the village.He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Time-Line Project at the foot of the church steps at Main Street. The erection of The Pontoon at Church Bridge is another of his initiatives.
In 2005 Percy and Eileen moved into the village and settled in Main Street. He retired from embryo work in 2006 and took up a position as veterinary inspector in Staunton Foods and remained in that position until 2020. Though work played a dominant role in his life, he also enjoyed down-time and both he and Eileen travelled widely. He enjoyed supporting Ireland at Landsdown Road and made many a trip to cheer on Munster at Thomand Park. When not able to travel of late he was happiest doing his bit for the cause at Charlie Madden’s Bar and the cry “Come on Munster” with his Tipperary accent still evident after all the years in West-Cork was a catch phrase that was enjoyed and expected by those present. He also derived great satisfaction from the success of the Tipperary hurling teams – a case of the savage loving his native shore. He loved nothing better than a day shooting at Cruary Bog or in the beet fields of Barryroe. His various gun dogs had a special place in his heart also.
His funeral was covid restricted but the streets of his adopted village were lined with neighbours, friends, clients and colleagues as he made his last journey to St. Molaga’s Cemetery to be re-united with his beloved Eileen. May the soil of The Calves Field rest lightly on you Percy. Ar dheis lamh De go raibh tu.