Tell ’em who you are
‘Tell ’em who you are!’ ordered the last Regimental Sergeant-Major of the 2nd Connacht Rangers to his young grandson and namesake Richard (Dick) Byrne.
In this autobiography Dick does indeed tell us who he is, starting with his early childhood with his parents and both maternal and paternal grandparents in Galway in the 1940s. After his school-days at ‘The Bish’ and ‘The Jes’, during which he followed his grandfather into the army (albeit the territorial army) he joined the Electricity Supply Board and was part of the team who brought electricity to the rural west of Ireland.
Dick has had many passions in his life but none more long standing than the arts. It was perhaps inevitable that he should be drawn to first a career in architecture and then, by natural progression to the performing arts. A short career in Ireland’s fledgling film industry led to a long connection with the theatre in general and Irish language theatre in particular.
Many local Galway citizens and visitors from across the nation and the world will remember his pantomimes and plays, which were performed at Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. He worked alongside such luminaries of the Irish stage as Micheál McLiammír and Johnny Horan.
Dick has had a truly rounded and full life, which he recounts in an entertaining and enthralling manner, from playing Jazz in a cellar in Paris to being a driving force behind the traditional music nights at the Fo’castle; from rural dances in 1950s Ireland to writing in the south of France. A true ‘Playboy of the Western World’.