Councillor Gerry Ryan: a man who made a difference
Long-serving Labour councillor Gerry Ryan passed away last weekend after a long battle against cancer. Gerry was a councillor for more than 16 years, most recently representing Selhurst on Croydon Council.
Gerry was a lifelong Crystal Palace fan and trade unionist who got involved in politics to try and improve life for his fellow Croydon residents. He was first elected to Croydon Council in 1998 and rose to become cabinet member for highways, transport and public services before contesting the Croydon Central parliamentary seat for Labour in 2010.
Gerry was a powerful champion for Selhurst where he played a very active local role, including fundraising for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, helping to organise the South Asian Pongal Festival and a wide range of community projects with Crystal Palace Football Club.
A trade unionist all his working life, Gerry was an active member of Communication Workers Union and an executive member of the Labour Party’s Irish society. He is survived by his wife Jackie, and sons Lee and Dan.
Croydon North MP Steve Reed said: “My thoughts are with Gerry’s family at this difficult time. They have lost a husband and a father and we have all lost a very good friend. Gerry was a rock of support to me personally before and after my election to Parliament. He was an outstanding councillor for Selhurst who was in politics to help the people he represented. He will be very sorely missed.”
Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council, said: “Gerry’s passing marks a sad day for our borough. It was an honour and a pleasure to serve alongside a man who was a tireless worker for the people of Croydon and a passionate trade unionist and Labour man. He made a difference for the better to the lives of those he served.”