Paul Ryle touched people’s hearts it was so nice to see

By Hayden Moore

A DRIVING force in the Belgard community, Paul Ryle Snr, has been remembered as a “happy-go-lucky”, caring, everyman, by his family after sadly passing away last week.

Paul Snr died of Covid-19 on April 15 surrounded by his loving family and carers in the Oak Ward of Kiltipper Woods Care Centre.

St Marks GAA pay tribute to Paul Ryle Snr compressor

Members of St Mark’s GAA Club formed a guard of honour

A private family funeral was held in St Mark’s Parish Church in Springfield before he was laid to rest in Bohernabreena Cemetery.

His two daughters, Deborah and Martina, spoke to The Echo about their dad, who they described as a “real cheeky chappy” and a “happy-go-lucky” father.

Paul Snr made an impact on many during his 77 years, with members of St Mark’s GAA Club lining the street to pay tribute to their former member with other members of the community doing likewise.

“All of the resident’s in Belgard, nearly every house was out when we were driving to the church to say goodbye,” says Deborah, Paul’s eldest daughter.

“Down along by St Mark’s GAA club, even down past the Tallaght-bypass at Aherne’s there were people out as we were going up to Bohernabreena.

“It was so emotional, the respect paid to him meant so much to us. It showed how much he was loved and how much he touched people’s hearts, it was so nice to see.”

Paul and his wife Betty moved to Belgard Heights from Nenagh, Tipperary, in December 1971 following the closure of the Silvermines.

The pair met at a dinner dance organised by the Order of Malta in the early ‘60s, with Paul a member of the branch in Harold’s Cross, where he grew up, and Betty in Drumcondra.

The couple wed in 1965 and became very active in the Belgard community when they moved there six-years later.

They founded the Order of Malta unit in Tallaght and through their work in first aid, Paul became involved in that capacity with his local GAA club, St Mark’s, through his children Ciaran and Martina’s participation with teams.

Paul Ryle Snr compressor

Paul Ryle

Pivotal in setting up the Belgard Heights Residents Association, Paul became chairman of the group and was a key player in the development of the Belgard Heights Youth and Community Centre.

“I have to say we were blessed with two of the most amazing parents,” Deborah told The Echo.

“I know people always say that but truly, ours were the best.

“The morals that they set us up with for life… they set a very high standard as parents and they’re a tough act to follow.”

Paul worked in the Silvermines, MCW and finally Cross Refrigeration before he retired in 2001.

But he was kept busy following his retirement, as Deborah explained.

“Once he retired, dad turned into a real DIY man – he hated sitting still,” she says.

“He would put his hand to anything, he used to build rocking horses for the grandchildren, he built my decking as well.

“He had a great pair of hands on him, a great head and a great heart.

His youngest daughter, Martina, added: “After mam passed away, he used to go to the Belgard [Inn] at nine every night for his four pints.

“Everyone up there knew him, he had his own seat at the bar and everything… people just knew it was his seat.

“His sister would call and tell him she might call up to the house at around 9. He’d be saying ‘no problem but if I’m not here I’ll be in my office’.

“His ‘office’ was what he’d call the Belgard… it was like his home away from home.

“But his life was his family, he just loved family gatherings.”

Following Betty’s passing in 1999, Paul Snr began wearing his late wife’s wedding ring on a chain around his neck.

“He was mad about her, he never met another woman and he never got over her,” said Deborah.

“He used to always say, ‘I’ll give it back to her one day’ about the ring.”

Paul was diagnosed with dementia eight-years-ago and last December moved into Kiltipper Woods Care Centre.

For Paul, everything revolved around his family and he revelled at the prospect of getting the whole family together, which they did for Christmas last year.

The entire Ryle family were under one roof again, just as Paul loved, when he left Kiltipper Woods Care Centre toenjoy Christmas Day with all six of his children, Ciaran, Deborah, Paul Jnr, Sinead, Martina and Mark, 14 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and children-in-law.

An online book of condolences is available at

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