Tríona Ryan didn’t just release a music video in recent weeks; she fulfilled a promise to her much-loved mother, Betty.
ríona – now based in Trim, County Meath – and her family were last year left in awe after locals in the Baile an Fheirtéaraigh lined the route of Betty’s Funeral cortége. With the Funeral happening in March after Betty lost her long, brave battle against blood cancer, this gesture was possibly the first instance of the route-lining which has since become synonymous with Funerals in COVID times, and made international headlines.
While it was a gesture the Ryan family was overwhelmed by, the reality is Betty still couldn’t get exactly the send-off she deserved, and the Ryans, a very close friendly, could not grieve in the way they otherwise would have.
THIS aspect was something Tríona told The Kerryman she found very hard, but her musicality gave her an opportunity to complete one last favour for her mother.
“I’ve always been involved in music,” she said. “Dad is a singer, and I’ve been involved in music myself from a young age, and I have played the fiddle.
“After moving to Trim, I began to sing with a gospel choir in Kilcock, and I set up a vocal harmony group called Firefly and got my voice trained professionally. I’m also qualified as a voice coach.
“Mum also sang with a gospel choir in Dingle and played with a ukelele group, and she loved the song that’s in this video, Up To The Mountain [by Patty Griffin]. In my final conversation with her, I promised her that I would record it for her. Then lock-down happened, and I thought there was no hope of getting it done.”
But she did, following a word of encouragement from a friend and some ingenuity to complete the task while staying within restrictions. The music video is now live, and it even launched in time for Betty’s first anniversary on St Patrick’s Day.
“We were able to record the song remotely and download a backing track, and we managed to film the video within the restrictions,” she said. “There was a lot of work, and while it was happening, you don’t have time to think about the ‘why’ behind it. Then it went live, and it hit me.
“I was delighted, I was proud, and it was also emotional because I realised that this is the last thing I’ll ever do for her.
“But it has gotten great feedback online and, coming up to her first anniversary, it was something I felt I needed to do.”
All in all, it’s a beautiful tribute to a woman who was full of energy and positivity. Betty was a sporting person – she loved sea-swimming, tennis, and cycling – and also, despite her struggles following diagnosis with Myelodysplasia syndrome, she adopted her blood type as the mantra for her fight: B-positive.
Tríona also hopes the song can be a solace to others who’ve had to grieve in these strangest of times.
It’s available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO06j4gUy5U, and more information on Tríona’s musical endeavours is at http://trionaryan.ie/.