Councillor George Ryan

08 Oct 2013

I first knew George Ryan as a Councillor during my spell of 10 years in Glasgow City Chambers.  George was very much involved in personnel, health and safety and similar issues and clearly had a huge amount of respect from both other Councillors and Officials.

George was someone who was very committed to his party and yet at the same time was very balanced in his approach to matters in the Council especially in the likes of the personnel field which clearly should not be party political.  He was a Councillor I found very easy to work with because of his professional manner and straight forward approach.  He was not afraid of challenging political leadership if he felt there were serious issues at stake and I could tell that this led to a lot of respect for him personally from across the board. 

In 2008 when we suddenly faced a by-election for the Glasgow East Westminster seat, George was initially suggested as a possible candidate for Labour and at the same time I became the candidate for the SNP.  He would have been a formidable opponent but for various reasons we know that he did not stand and instead continued on with his work in Glasgow City Council.

More recently as the MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, I have continued to work with a range of Councillors and Council Officials on many local matters.  Again, out of all the Councillors in the constituency George has been one of the most easy to work with and to deal with at a professional and personal level.

Therefore, I was extremely shocked at the weekend to hear about his sudden death and I do want to pass on my sincere condolences to his family and friends as well as political colleagues.  I know from what constituents have said to me that he was held in great regard and affection and it will be very difficult for anyone else to easily fill his shoes.