Updated: 19/10/16 : 05:47:46
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This


Death of administrator and soccer fund raiser

By Eugene McGloin

MANY TRIBUTES have been paid to the late Brendan Byrne of Tonaphubble, who has died.

He served at a senior level in local government administration in both Sligo and Leitrim.

He played a key role for sixty years as a Sligo Rovers fund raising activist and innovator.

He also acted as County Secretary -- a deputy County Manager role -- with Leitrim County Council.

There, he worked with Leitrim County Managers Tom McManus and Paddy Doyle, both of whom served with Sligo County Council and both now deceased.

Mr Byrne himself held senior roles with Sligo County Council, having first joined the body in 1960 as Staff Officer.

Mr Byrne was also manager for a period at Sligo University Hospital -- then a general hospital under the North Western Health Board.

Soft spoken and shrewd, he was also a keen walking enthusiast.

Fund Raiser

But the Donegal man will be best remembered as a prominent fund raiser for Sligo Rovers over several decades.

Specialist soccer writer Michael Moran estimated the Donegal man helped raise ''hundreds of thousands'' in various ventures.

Mr Byrne was instrumental in the moves almost 50 years ago which led to the purchase of the Showgrounds for soccer.

The Letterkenny native later served for two years as Chair of Sligo Rovers, which flew its club flag at half mast yesterday, Tuesday.

Respect: The flag at The Showgrounds flying yesterday at half mast as a mark of respect to the late Brendan Byrne

He also played a key role in setting up the 400 Club, later to become the 500 Club.

This voluntary effort itself has now raised close on one million euro for Sligo Rovers.

First Name

In his earlier days, Mr Byrne played junior soccer in his native county.

He also took a keen interest in politics and was on first-name terms with several 'big names' in Irish national politics.

Survived by his daughters Majella, Deirdre and Jane, Mr Byrne was predeceased by his wife Betty in January 2012.

Mr Byrne's funeral will be held at St. Anne`s Church, on Friday morning at 11am.