Book of condolence opens in Dublin for Gay Byrne

A book of condolence has opened for broadcaster Gay Byrne at Dublin's Mansion House. The legendar...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.00 5 Nov 2019

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Book of condolence opens in Du...

Book of condolence opens in Dublin for Gay Byrne

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.00 5 Nov 2019

Share this article

A book of condolence has opened for broadcaster Gay Byrne at Dublin's Mansion House.

The legendary broadcaster, who hosted 'The Late, Late Show' for 37 years, died on Monday after a long illness.

The public will be able to sign the book of condolence between 11.00am and 5.00pm on Tuesday and 10.00am and 5.00pm on Wednesday.


The city's Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe said: "I am opening a book of condolence to allow the people of Dublin to express their sympathies to the family of Gay Byrne.

"Gay had a huge impact on Irish society and was more than just a broadcaster.

"During his time as the host of the 'Late Late Show', he offered a platform for many varied and controversial issues and changed the social dialogue of the country.

"Even after his retirement from the 'Late Late Show', he did not retire from public life and showed the true meaning of active retirement through his ongoing broadcasting and as chairman of the Road Safety Authority."

In May 1999, he received the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin at the Mansion House.

Mayor McAuliffe added that, as a mark of respect, the Dublin flag on the Mansion House will be flown at half-mast.

Gay Byrne Gay Byrne presents his last 'Late Late Show' in 1999 | Image:

A book of condolence has also opened at Galway City Hall.

It will be available to sign at reception during opening hours until Friday November 8th.

President Michael D Higgins led tributes to the broadcaster on Monday.

He said: "It is with deep sadness I have learned of the death of legendary broadcaster, Gay Byrne.

"Having begun his career in broadcasting with Radio Éireann in 1958, he retained a love of radio as a medium.

"With the arrival of television he went on to become one of the most recognisable faces of Irish broadcasting, hosting one of the world's longest running chat shows - 'The Late Late Show.'

"A man of great charisma, Gay Byrne was someone who exuded warmth and presence, who was possessed of effortless wit, charm and who had a flair for broadcasting.

"This was combined with an innate gentleness as a person, professionalism and humour.

"Through his work in radio and on television he challenged Irish society, and shone a light not only on the bright but also the dark sides of Irish life.

"In doing so, he became one of the most familiar and distinctive voices of our times, helping shape our conscience, our self-image, and our idea of who we might be. Beyond compassion, which he had in abundance, he had a sense of what was just."

Gay Byrne Gay Byrne and his wife Kathleen Watkins at the Gate Theatre, Dublin in 2013 | Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Gay Byrne, the most influential broadcaster in the history of the State and a much-loved figure who changed Ireland for the better in so many ways.

"Gay Byrne had a central place in Irish homes for many decades - on radio and on television - and the story of his remarkable contribution to Irish life is the story of how we changed and evolved as a society over the past 60 years.

"A consummate entertainer, he also provided a voice for all those who had been silenced or were afraid to speak up, and he forced us to confront things that needed to be challenged in our society.

"As chairman of the Road Safety Authority for almost a decade he spoke with feeling and understanding about the tragedy of road traffic deaths.

"When I was Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport I re-appointed him to this role because I saw how his campaigning helped to save so many lives.

"I found him a wonderful public-spirited person who undertook his responsibilities at the RSA with the utmost seriousness and concern.

"He also spoke up for the whistle-blowers who exposed the abuse of the penalty points system and helped to bring about change."

RTÉ One is to broadcast a special 'Late Late Show' in tribute to him on Tuesday night at 9:35pm.

The 90 minute live special will include contributions from his many friends and colleagues - including Bob Geldof, singer Andrea Corr, Newstalk presenter Pat Kenny, John Sheahan and former President Mary McAleese.

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Book Of Condolence Gay Byrne Honorary Freedom Of The City Of Dublin Late Late Show Late Late Show Special Leo Varadkar Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe Mansion House President Michael D Higgins RTE Radio Éireann Tributes

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