The Hippo


May 27, 2020








Ronan Tynan. Courtesy photo.

Hear Ronan Tynan sing

Where: Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester
When: Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $30.50-$60.50
Contact: 668-5588,

The voice of giving back
Ronan Tynan returns to Manchester

By Kelly Sennott

Ronan Tynan sang at the Dec. 6 Patriots game, Ronald Reagan’s state funeral, George H.W. Bush’s 80th birthday and the memorial for the Boston Marathon Bombings.

This week, he returns to Manchester’s Palace Theatre for a concert on Tuesday, Dec. 15, with a special guest performance by the New Hampshire Police Association Pipes and Drums. He’ll perform a variety of patriotic and Christmas songs, plus favorite Irish tunes — maybe “Danny Boy” or “The Old Man,” but he wouldn’t go into specifics during his pre-event phone interview.
“We’re going to focus more on festive songs, but of course, I’ll make sure all the popular Irish songs are there,” he said. “I normally don’t share information for a concert. It makes it all a nice surprise. … There’s a wealth of Irish in the Manchester area, and the surrounding Massachusetts area, and they want to be treated to the songs they know and love.”
Tynan was born in Dublin, Ireland, with phocomelia, which caused both his lower legs to be underdeveloped. This did not deter him — as a boy, he was “wild as a March hare,” according to his website, riding horses and racing motorcycles.
When he was 20, a driving accident injury forced him to have his legs amputated below the knees, yet within weeks he was climbing the stairs of his college dorm, and within a few years time, winning gold, silver and bronze medals at the Paralympics in the 1980s, creating world records in the process.
In the following years, he became the first person with a disability, ever, admitted to the National College of Physical Education in Limerick, and he became a physician specializing in orthopedic sports injuries. 
It wasn’t until he was 33, well into his residency, that he began to explore his true passion: singing. His father encouraged him to study voice, and he went on to win numerous competitions and an international operatic singing contest. Then he joined the Irish Tenors, a PBS musical singing trio from Ireland. The rest is history.
Having accomplished a “fair bit” in his life, he’s licensed to say faith and good parents can make all the difference.
“I think the most important thing in life is the start-up of life — with your folks, your parents. Parents play a huge role in a child’s life. If the groundwork and the kindness and the belief in the child is given at that age, that belief will ring true all the way. People will find the will that’s within them,” Tynan said via phone.
Today he lives in Boston, and has for about 19 years. Many of his recent performances have been in the wake of tragedy, but much of his incentive to sing and tour is to give back to this country.
“I think it’s always important to pay back to the people. This country has been so good to me, and so it’s always important for me to give back,” he said. “It seems like sometimes your voice is needed to heal and to bring some kind of closure to an event that has been so tough on so many. … Americans are strong people and they believe in living their lives, and that’s what’s admirable — that even in the depths of tragedy, they’re able to rise above it.”
The other incentive is the joy of it. He still practices a “little bit” of medicine in Ireland, but the majority of his work is singing, which he does across the country. At the time of his interview, he’d just sung with the Boston Pops and would be performing at a Notre Dame vs. Boston College game soon after.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years. It’s the greatest buzz you can get,” he said. “You can allow people to have nostalgia and memories. You can bring so much to them.” 

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