77 Tymon Crescent,
Dear Mickey Byrne,
I’m sitting here reading your book and enjoying every line. There are tears in my eyes, most of them there because I’m laughing so much but maybe a few caused by a feeling of sadness knowing that even people with a heart as large as Mickey Byrne’s are not allowed to live for ever, I really wish they were.
I don’t suppose you’d remember me but I sure do remember you. I enjoyed watching you when you proudly wore the blue and gold for Tipperary also when you cleared everything in sight for the Sarsfields. But, I enjoyed you even more when you drove the lorry for the Sugar Co. I was just a campaign worker - I was big Paddy Corbett’s helper, taking the beet samples from the wagons and I always looked forward to day work when you transported the samples to the tarehouse. Mutty Kinehan did it some days and we always had fun but nothing like the fun we had when you drove the lorry.
I remember all your funny stories and have told them to so many people down through the decades. I remember how you explained to that farmer how easy it was for him to become Mickey (Burns) if he so wished and I’ll never forget the expression on Paddy McLoughney’s face when you gave him a blow by blow description of how to do the ratdance, as Paddy always acted the Holy Joe.
But the funniest one of all was one morning in the weighbridge when Mick Carroll was telling one of his never ending stories, that he made up as he went along. The phone kept ringing and interrupting him after about five attempts he had almost forgotten what the story was supposed to be about, he began pouring out a cup of tea and tried to get his thoughts together, when the phone rang once more. He looked as if he was going to throw it out the window. You Mickey, were sitting in a corner drinking a mug of tea and you shouted “Pour the tea into the phone and roast the ear off the bastard”, We all laughed. Mick got thick and that finished the story.
I remember one evening shortly after I came to Dublin to work, I went for a spin on my bike up Ballymount Lane. I was going to have a stroll in Tallaght of the green hills. I saw a lorry parked by the roadside, as I got nearer I saw a man between the lorry and the ditch, I’d say he was having a wee - and to my delight, who did it turn out to be but the bould Mickey Byrne. You didn’t know me at first as we hadn’t met for some time and you weren’t expecting to meet a mountainy man from Upperchurch so far from home. We talked for at least a half hour and I got great pleasure in telling my workmates in Premier Dairies next day, who were almost all Tipp. men that I had a long chat with Mickey Byrne the evening before. From then on, I found they all had great respect for me, I think they felt that anyone who was friendly with the Rattler, must be a little bit famous too.
Well that’s over forty years ago and we haven’t met since. I saw you on ‘Up For The Match’ in 2010 and I got great delight in seeing you looking so well and sounding as funny as ever.
I mentioned you in a poem I wrote after we beat Kilkenny that year. It was called All Ireland Glories and it was printed in the Tipp. Star. My name is John Brett. I am now in my seventies and seeing that we haven’t met in the last forty years, it’s unlikely that we’ll meet again at this side of the great divide but I’m sure glad that our paths did cross and I’ve always considered it a privilege to have known you.
Who knows, maybe some time, somewhere in the great blue yonder we might meet again and have a deep and meaningful man-to-man chat. In the meantime, look after yourself. Good men are scarce.
‘Seeking Birth Mother’
7 Emmets Place,
7th January 2012.
My name is John Keane, I was born in Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary on 24th July 1978.
My mother aged 16 approx at the time was Nora Keane originally from Kerdiffstown, Naas, Co. Kildare. I am looking to seek any information on her whereabouts, whether she is alive or deceased.
We were separated shortly after birth and I would like to be able to have some closure of comfort to know what happened to her.
I’d appreciate if any of your readers would be able to provide information.
I wish to clarify my position regarding the article on the “Nenagh News” page of last week’s issue of the Tipperary Star highlighting the incredibly poor condition of the car park at Tyone, adjacent to the Nenagh Hospital. I submitted the article with the heading “Who is Responsible for Such Neglect?” because I feel it is time that the body responsible should be compelled to rectify the situation. The fact that the heading was changed is neither here not there at this stage. However, when I read that I did not wish to be named as the person submitting the observations on the neglected car park I became concerned.
Perhaps where some confusion arose, was when I sent in the article, I asked that it be inserted as coming from me as a person who like thousands of others has occasion to visit the Out Patients Clinic, or perhaps drive others to appointments from time to time; and not as a comment from me in my capacity as a member of Thurles Town Council. But I certainly didn’t intentionally indicate that I did not wish to be identified as the author. In fact, “the person not wishing to be named line” whether in print or on television / radio reports, leads to my losing interest in the issues being outlined and I’m sure it has exactly the same effect on the vast majority of people.
In conclusion I hope, as I’m sure many others who frequent this car park do also, that the disgraceful condition of the surface in this busy area will be rectified without delay. Thank you for permitting me to clarify this slight confusion.