I recently wrote a tongue in cheek article about Radio Caroline. However this, in contrast, is a very sombre few words on a very related subject.
I have to say something quite sad about Ronan O’Rahilly and his health.
Ronan is the founder, figure-head, motivator, and, well, has been Mister Radio Caroline since 1964. Although not involved in the current incarnation of the radio station, this strange and mysterious man continued to intrigue and captivate Radio Caroline fans.
Ronan is also probably one of the original conspiracy theorists from well before the internet grew conspiracy theorists, and his charm always radiated like that of a leader of a cult. Indeed, that’s what he was for many dedicated Caroline fans; their spiritual leader and inspiration.
Well, I’m sorry to say that it has recently been made public that he is in bad health. After a good few years of deterioration that was known about by those close to him, but not spoken about publicly, the family have now announced that he has advanced vascular dementia.
He is being looked after by his ‘Ines‘ and family, who have managed to get him to Ireland, where he now needs constant attention. The family have also said that he is in “dire straits due to unfortunate financial circumstances and needs some help.” I suspect this will lead to a benefit fund being organised and publicised soon, to help with medical care. I guess we, that’s us radio anoraks, all owe him for his part in changing the face of radio in the UK and Europe. Even those he carefully and craftily assisted put their hands in their pockets or motivated to spend months of hard graft ‘keeping the dream alive’, owe him a thanks for what he got them to do!
Personally, I can think of nothing worse than losing my mind. It is who I am, my personality, my character, my experiences, my thoughts, my knowledge. I can’t imagine not being me. And, it seems very hard to imagine Ronan O’Rahilly not being Ronan O’Rahilly.