Kildare man Bill Ryan, member of 1960s dancehall band Sputnik Five, has died

Band rocked the dancehalls of the Lilywhite county and beyond

Rose Barrett O'Donoghue

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Rose Barrett O'Donoghue

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Kildare man Bill Ryan, member of 1960s dancehall band Sputnik Five, has died

Sputnik Five, one of the hottest bands to play the dancehall scene in the 1960s — sadly, Ballymore Eustace man Bill 'Willie' Ryan, in the spectacles, died recently

The death has occurred of Bill (Willie) Ryan, the Ballymore Eustace man who was a member of well-known 1960s dancehall band Sputnik Five.

 As a danceband in the 1960s, they rocked the dancehalls of Co Kildare and beyond. Initially the five comprised of brothers Eamonn and Tommy Deegan, with cousin Frank, Declan Byrne and Bill Ryan of Barrack Street.

Bill aged 72 died last month, after battling a long illness. He had been living in the UK but had retained close links to his family and friends in Kildare.

Bill will be mourned by his wife Ailish (nee O'Neill from Annalecky); sons Tim and Connor, daughter in law Jackie and grandchildren Megan and Ben; brothers Tim and Mick, sisters in law, nephews, nieces and extended family, and of course, his former band members.  

The ‘lads’ in the band were reunited within the last few years, and so many across the county of Kildare will remember these guys when they were the ‘Westlife’ of their day and played to full dancehalls across the Lilywhite county and beyond.

Bill’s funeral service will be held in early March, in the UK.