One of Clonmel and Tipperary’s best-known political figures of the last half century died last week.
Billy Byrne, who was 85, was involved in local politics for 35 years as a member of Clonmel Corporation (now the Borough Council) and South Tipp County Council, serving as Mayor of Clonmel in 1968-69 and as County Council Chairman in 1971-72.
Born and reared in Clonmel, where he lived all his life, he was a staunch member of the Labour Party for 63 years, having joined the party in 1948. He was also a committed trade unionist as a lifelong member of ATGWU.
He was noted as a shrewd and very capable public representative and the fact that he successfully fought so many elections was a testament to his popularity and ability.
A cooper by trade, Billy worked in Bulmers for 49 years.
He was pre-deceased 13 years ago by his wife Nonie (nee O’Mahony). The couple were married in 1944 and celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with their family in 1994.
He died at his home at Baron Park last Wednesday, December 14, surrounded by his family. The Mayor, Darren Ryan and members of Clonmel Borough Council attended his Funeral Mass at Ss Peter and Paul’s Church last Saturday, which was followed by burial at St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
Billy Byrne is survived by his children Lily, Mary, Jimmy, June, Anne, Bernie, John and Billy; 24 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren; sisters Betty (his twin sister), Carmel, Nellie and Bid; brother Michael; sons-in-law, daughters-in-law; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nephews, nieces and friends, to whom sincere sympathy is offered.