Ryan has worked extensively in theatre, television and film. She has been twice nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Family and Amongst Women, and three times nominated by IFTA for Amongst Women, Intermission and The Return. She is also a recipient of a Belfast Telegraph EMA Award in for her work on A Place with the Pigs and Song of the Yellow Bittern. In 2007, she received an IFTA for her work on the two-part docu-drama, Stardust, by RTÉ. She also played Margie McEvoy in all three series of the award-winning BBC drama series, The Street, with Timothy Spall. Most recently, she has played the role of Maeve Harte in RTÉ's popular drama series, Raw.