Tag Archives: Gay Byrne

Gay Byrne in 1990

‘Dear Gay’

A documentary for RTÉ One, celebrating the ‘Irish people’s unique relationship with one of their best-loved broadcasters’.

You, or someone you know, may have received critical financial support from the Gay Byrne Show Radio Fund. You may have been moved by an item on the show to share your own experiences. You, or someone you know, may have been one of the thousands who wrote to the radio show after the tragic death of Ann Lovett and her baby son in 1984 to tell your own story.

You, or a loved one, may have been one of those who came out to Gay, anonymously, as the campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Ireland gathered pace. You may have appeared on the Late Late Show, campaigned to be a child reviewer or performer on the Toy Show, been nominated for a Gay Byrne Show Local Hero Award or Calor Kosangas Housewife of the Year and be willing to tell us how that experience changed your life.

Whatever the reason for writing to Gay during his time in RTÉ, if you have an interesting story to tell and would like to share it with us, please log on to rte.ie/gaybo and fill in the form.

Or simply write an old-fashioned letter to us at:
Dear Gay
Dublin 4
(And don’t forget to include your contact details!)

The documentary will air on RTÉ One later this year. We look forward to reading your stories!





Last night.

Scenes from last night’s tribute to Gay Byrne Late Late Show special broadcast on RTÉ One.

Pics Andres Poveda via Rollingnews

Earlier in the evening…

Lat night.

RTÉ, Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Guests arrive for the Late Late Show Special remembering Gay Byrne broadcast on RTE one.

From top: President Michael D Higgins and RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes: Former President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin; Mike Murphy; Miriam O’Callaghan; Twink; Tommy Tiernan; Vincent Browne; Ray D’Arcy and his wife Jenny; Eamon Dunphy; Teresa Lowe; Pat Shortt; Nell Mcafferty (left) and Ruth Maxwell; RTÉ Authority Chair Moya Doherty and John McColgan; Marty Whelan; Pat Kenny; Bob Geldof.

Watch full show here


Yesterday: Goodbye From Everyone In The Audience

This morning/afternoon.

Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2.

Mourners, including RTÉ broadcasters Joe Duffy (third pic) and Ryan Tubridy (fourth pic) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin (fifth pic) arrive to sign the book of condolence for Gay Byrne which will remain open until 5pm and from 11am-5pm tomorrow.

The Dublin flag above the Mansion House is also being flown at half mast as he was a Freeman of Dublin.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

Earlier: Gay Times

Yesterday: To Whom It Concerns


Via RTÉ:

RTÉ will air live coverage on television and online of the funeral of Broadcaster Gay Byrne, which takes place at 12 noon on Friday 8th November 2019.

Beginning at 11.30am on RTÉ One and RTÉ News Now, Bryan Dobson will present a special programme featuring coverage of the funeral mass from St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Church, Dublin. John Bowman and Mary Kennedy will provide commentary of the ceremony.

Television coverage will be streamed live on the RTÉ Player and on RTÉ.ie available to audiences worldwide.

Gay Byrne (1934-2019)

Following the death yesterday of broadcasting legend Gay Byrne.

Via Fintan O’Toole in The Irish Times:

He was everyone and no one. Everyone in the sense that his personal story mirrored the country’s.

He was a microcosm of Catholic Ireland from the late 1950s to the early 1990s. Inculcated with the values of the Christian Brothers (June Levine, who worked with him as a researcher on the Late Late, wrote of him as at times being “like a Christian Brother of the nasty type Irish men have described to me, merciless, unreasonable, relentless in his attack on anyone who fell short”).

Emigrating along with everyone else in the 1950s. Returning to the burgeoning boomtime of the 1960s. Getting richer as the country got richer.

Suffering financial calamity in the 1980s when his accountant stole his money and publicly contemplating emigration again.

Working all the time in the gap between what the nation said it was and what it knew itself to be.

But also, crucially, no one.

Fintan O’Toole: Gay Byrne held the key to the nation’s locked room of secrets (Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times)



Via Pat Stacey in The Irish Independent:

….of all the tributes and assessments you’ll read in the coming days, the one aspect of his career that’s most often overlooked is his brilliance as a straightforward entertainment show host.

It’s captured best in a classic black-and-white ‘Late Late’ from 1970, which you can probably find on YouTube, featuring a glittering line-up of guests including Peter Sellers, Trevor Howard, Matt Busby and Eamonn Andrews.

This was the showbiz Byrne, the Byrne who delighted in comedy, in his element, doing what he loved – interviewing funny, talented, exceptional stars

Pat Stacey: ‘Gay Byrne was as good as anyone in showbiz, like him or loathe him, we were incredibly lucky to have him’ (Independent.ie)


Will Hanafin, of RTÉ, tweetz:

At the end of his last ever Late Late Show season, Gay Byrne had had these crystal owls made by Waterford Crystal for us on his team – and he simply put – It Happened – at the base, to sum up 37 years of The Late Late Show.

Yesterday: To Whom It Concerns

Gay Byrne

Broadcast legend Gay Byrne has died.


A Book of Condolence will be open for signing at The Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tomorrow at 11am – 5pm and Wednesday: 10am – 5pm.

Veteran RTÉ broadcaster Gay Byrne dies aged 85 (RTÉ)

‘Country has lost an icon’, tributes paid to legendary broadcaster (RTÉ)


RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, said::

“We are all greatly saddened by the passing of Gay Byrne who has been a household name in this country for so many years. Gay was an exceptional broadcaster whose unique and ground-breaking style contributed so much to the development of radio and television in this country. Gay’s journalistic legacy is as colossal as the man himself – he not only defined generations, but he deftly arbitrated the growth and development of a nation. Ireland grew up under Gay Byrne, and we will never see his like again. My deepest sympathies to Kathleen and his family.”

Chair of RTÉ, Moya Doherty, said:

“On a personal level he was a true and trusted friend, happy to chide when necessary but always gentle and loyal in his support. The Ireland we know today was in many aspects framed by the work which Gay Byrne did over many years and when we look at RTE today we can only feel blessed that we stand on the shoulders on one of the giants of world public service broadcasting. Thank you Gay. We, as a nation, owe you a great debt”

Broadcaster, Ryan Tubridy said:

“It is with enormous and profound sadness that I heard of the passing of my friend and mentor, Gay Byrne. He was the master, a once off and the likes of which we will never see again. I watched him as a child, worked alongside him as a young man and he guided me as I grew older and I will forever be indebted to him. We in RTÉ have lost a friend, a family have lost a father and a husband and the country has lost an icon. May he rest in peace.”

Broadcaster, Joe Duffy said:

“More so than any one individual, Gay Byrne represented modern Ireland and through his daily broadcasting on radio and television he propelled this country and its people forward. In no other country can one individual claim to have had such a positive impact on an entire nation over such a long period. Ireland is a better country thanks to Gay’s lengthy career behind the microphone at the centre of public discourse.”

More to follow.

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews


Via RTÉ:

RTÉ is to broadcast a special Late Late Show in tribute to Gay Byrne tomorrow at 9:35pm on RTÉ One.

The 90 minute live special will include contributions from Gay’s “many friends and colleagues across the world of entertainment and beyond including Bob Geldof, Andrea Corr, Pat Kenny, John Sheahan and Mary McAleese”.