warm personality | 

Limerick dad found dead in prison on Christmas Day was ‘jolly’ and ‘fun’, funeral mass hears

Mr Knapp Ryan, who had a number of convictions including for violent disorder, is understood to have complained of feeling unwell to fellow inmates before he collapsed and died

Sunday World

A father of one who was found dead in prison on Christmas Day was remembered as “jolly” and “fun” at his funeral mass, which was held in his native Limerick City.

Michael Knapp Ryan (30s) who was one of ten siblings from St Munchin’s Street, St Mary’s Park, Limerick, died at Limerick Prison last Sunday.

Mr Knapp Ryan, who had a number of convictions including for violent disorder, is understood to have complained of feeling unwell to fellow inmates before he collapsed and died.

A post mortem was carried out on his body but no foul play was suspected in his death.

Michael Knapp Ryan

A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service (IPS) said that while it does “not comment on individual prisoner cases, we can confirm the death of a prisoner in Limerick Prison on 25/12/2022”.

“All deaths in custody are investigated by the Irish Prison Service, the Inspector of Prisons and An Garda Síochána, where circumstances warrant. The cause of death is determined by the Coroner’s office,” he added.

A Garda spokesman said that “a file is being prepared by Gardaí for the Coroner in respect of the sudden death of a man in his 30s at UHL on the 25th of December, 2022, the man had been taken there following a medical emergency”.

Michael Knapp Ryan’s death was the second tragic incident in his family in recent months, after his brother, Kieran Knapp Ryan, was seriously injured in a fatal road traffic collision last September.

The collision, at Parteen, Co Clare, claimed the life of Tyler Kelly, (21), from St Mary’s Park, Limerick.

Addressing Mr Knapp Ryan’s family at his funeral at St Mary’s Chruch, Athlunkard, Limerick, Fr Sean Harmon, said, “our prayers are very much with you on this very painful and difficult time”.

The funeral of Michael Knapp Ryan at St Mary’s Chruch, Athlunkard, Limerick,

As a handball was shown to mourners, Fr Harmon went on, “all through life, Michael loved the game of handball, which gave him so much enjoyment with his friends and family.

“Michael, I'm told, had a very warm personality, Michael loved fun, he was constantly having good fun and banter, he was very jolly and had a large circle of friends, he meant the world to you all and he loved you all so much as well,” said Fr Harmon.

In a further tribute, a friend of Mr Knapp Ryan wrote in an online book of condolence: “May you rest in peace bud and get the best game of handball up there, so sad, condolences to your family.”

During the funeral mass, Mr Knapp Ryan’s coffin, resting next to a framed photograph of him, was draped in a green and white Limerick GAA flag.

His coffin was shouldered from the church to a waiting horse drawn carriage which took his remains to his final resting place at Mount Saint Oliver Cemetery, Limerick.

Mr Knapp Ryan is survived by his mother Diane, sisters Maria, Donna, Joanne, Carina, Sarah and Sherice, brothers Daniel, Kieran and Ricky, and son Michael-John.


Today's Headlines

More Irish News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos