Ryan, Charles (d. 1810), apothecary and catholic politician, is listed in Wilson's Dublin Directory as being in business at 152 (later 7) Old Church St., Dublin, from the 1770s. He was one of the 15 apothecaries who subscribed £100 each to the erection of the Apothecaries’ Hall and are named in the act of parliament constituting the body (1791). He joined the Catholic Committee (6 May 1773) and represented his parish, St Michan's, at the Catholic Convention (1792–3). Though he was proposed for membership of the Dublin Society of United Irishmen (31 August 1792), he appears not to have taken part in its proceedings, despite which he was refused admission to the apothecaries’ guild (1793). Charles Ryan was again active in the Catholic Committee after its revival (1804); he signed catholic petitions (1805 and 1809). He died 18 December 1810. His son James, aged 17, admitted in June 1798 to having been sworn into the United Irishmen after they adopted revolutionary aims and methods but not to having taken any part in their activities.
Charles Ryan is not to be confused with Thomas Ryan (d. 1798?), physician, 12 Arran Quay, Dublin, who was also a member of both the Catholic Committee and the Dublin Society of United Irishmen. Having joined the Catholic Committee (9 February 1791), Thomas Ryan served on its sub-committee (from October 1792 if not earlier), represented Counties Meath and Roscommon at the Catholic Convention (1792–3) and at the penultimate meeting of the convention (24 April 1793) argued strongly that the Catholic Committee should take up the issue of parliamentary reform – ‘what prevents you’, he asked, ‘from coalescing with your protestant brethren?’ (Tone, Writings, i, 441); he was admitted a member of the Dublin Society of United Irishmen (6 July 1792), was appointed to its committee to draw up a plan for parliamentary reform (11 January 1793), and five years later, during the revolutionary period of the United Irish movement, he was said by Francis Higgins (qv) to have attended a meeting of Arthur O'Connor (qv) and other dissidents at which ‘letters were read giving them the most absolute and unequivocal assurance of the French Directory having agreed to an invasion of Ireland’ (Revol. Dublin, 195). Thomas Ryan was elected to the Royal Irish Academy (31 January 1795), one of the very few catholics to achieve this distinction in its early years. His name last appears in Wilson's Dublin Directory for 1798 and so it is presumed he died in that year.
There was also James Ryan (fl.