In Memoriam: John Clement Ryan

Published May 17, 2018

All of us at Irish Distillers are sad to hear of the passing of John C. Ryan, a direct descendant of James Power and Irish Distillers colleague from 1969 – 1996.

John Clement Ryan was the seventh generation to start his career in whiskey in the family firm. A natural raconteur, his pride in, and encyclopaedic knowledge of the Irish whiskey category made him a much sought-after figure.

His father John A. Ryan, along with his cousin Frank O’Reilly, was joint Managing Director of Powers. They were two of the figures responsible for the successful merger in 1966 of that firm with John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company to form Irish Distillers. John C. often recounted how his father returned home on the day the deal was finally signed, optimistic that the future of Irish whiskey was secure.

John C. joined Irish Distillers in 1969 and gravitated naturally towards marketing. His passion for, and belief in the qualities of Irish whiskey made him an eloquent ambassador for the spirit at home and abroad during his 27 years with the company. Following his retirement in 1996, he continued to work as a valued consultant to the industry and remained keenly interested in the sector.

Always generous with his time and knowledge, he never lost his enthusiasm for sharing the story of Irish whiskey, and his interest in his family’s role in that history.

He is survived by his wife Jane and their children, Rebecca, Veronica, Lucy and Alice.