Gay Byrne and his Tullamore connections


THE death of broadcaster Gay Byrne has reawakened old memories for many Tribune readers of his revolutionary impact on Irish society in the latter half of the 20th century.

Gaybo was also an occasional visitor to Tullamore as the Secretary of Offaly History Society, Michael Byrne, reminds us in this collection of photographs he has submitted this week.

The broadcaster’s first visit to the town in a professional capacity, as recorded in the press, was in 1968 where he cut the sod at the Whitehall Estate development on the Daingean Road. Our photograph shows Gay with the builder of the scheme, John Flanagan and the auctioneer, Joe Galvin.

Gay also visited town to compere the national Miss Ireland Contest in the Bridge House in 1982, the first time the affair was held outside the capital.

In more recent times, hotelier and business man, Christy Maye secured the broadcaster to officially open the new Bridge Centre in 1995.

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