Community of Kilkenny and Clara stunned at death of Johnny Ryan in farm accident

The late Johnny Ryan pictured with son Lester and wife Lilly after Kilkenny won the League Final in Semple Stadium.
The late Johnny Ryan pictured with son Lester and wife Lilly after Kilkenny won the League Final in Semple Stadium.


The Parish priest in Clara Fr Larry O Keeffe says the community has been stunned today with the death of a local man in a farm accident.

Johnny Ryan who was in his 60’s died in an accident at lunchtime when a tractor rolled back on him in Dunbell in Clara.

Gardai and the Health & Safety Authority are carrying out separate investigations.

The family run a dairy farm and Johnny was heavily involved in playing and coaching hurling in Kilkenny.

He played on the same county minor team as Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody.

The President of the Irish Farmers Association Eddie Downey has expressed his condolences to the family and says the IFA would re-double its efforts to promote the importance of farm safety.

Mr Ryan was the father of Kilkenny hurler Lester Ryan and two other boys, Fr O Keeffe says its very hard for them and his wife.

Meanwhile a rosary service takes place tonight at 9 o clock in the Ryans residence in Clara for locals to pay their respects.

Statement from Clara GAA Chairperson, Carmel Brennan.

“The entire parish is stunned following Johnny’s 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.

“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.

“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 theĀ  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.”