Some people go their whole lifetime without finding true love. I was one of the lucky ones. I found that with Vinny. He showed me the kind of love I never even thought existed, the kind of love that only exists in fairytales.
VINCENT RYAN’S PARTNER, and the mother of his six-week-old daughter, Kelly Smyth, today spoke of her heartbreak over the young man’s murder as she paid tribute to his life and how much love he had shown her.
You were not only my boyfriend, you were my best friend, my soulmate and father to our beautiful little girl Phoenix. I have now lost all of that, and our little girl has lost her Daddy.
Me and you were glued at the hip from day one, you would never see one without the other and when Phoenix came along we became three.
“He brought so much happiness to my life, he walked into a room and brightened it up. He’d the most beautiful big eyes and amazing smile – you couldn’t help but smile back at him,” she told mourners at Ryan’s funeral at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Donaghmede this morning.
‘Perfect little family’
The 26-year-old Dubliner, who was gunned down in Finglas last week, had worked as a barber – something his girlfriend said he was very passionate about.
Anytime we were out, he would be looking at men’s haircuts and telling me he would love to be able to fix their hair.
He loved motorbikes, music and watching documentaries but more than anything he loved his family, the congregation was told.
Smyth, who had walked ahead of her boyfriend’s coffin pushing their baby daughter in a pram, spoke of how excited Vinny had been about being a father.
The day Phoenix was born was the happiest day of his life, he loved her more than life itself. We had the perfect little family. We had so much planned for our future. He wanted more kids and we were supposed to get married.
The last conversation we had that Monday was about getting married. He used to say to me before he kissed me: ‘This is how I’m going to kiss you when we get married.’ He would dance with me in the bedroom and we would laugh and joke and he would tell me he would get dance lessons for our wedding day.
“Now we will never get that day or any of that and I’m totally lost without you.
“I’m broken. The day you were taken from me, you took my heart with you. I always loved you and always will.”
I promise to tell Phoenix all about you every single day. She will know how amazing you were. You should be here for her first words, her first step, her first Christmas and birthday.
Ryan’s coffin had been led to the church by a guard of honour – men and women in white shirts and black ties, similar to scenes at the funeral of his brother, republican Alan Ryan in 2012. However, unlike his brother, he did not receive a military funeral as his family wanted to emphasise that he was not a member of the IRA when he was shot.
In his homily, Fr Gerry Corcoran reminded those gathered how easy it can be “to take life for granted”.
“We know we all must die, but most of us assume, or at least hope that it will be when we are old. So when a young person dies suddenly and violently as Vincent has, it is a stark reminder that we should never take life for granted.”