A Tribute to Irish Broadcasting Legend Gay Byrne
Irish broadcasting superstar Gabrial “Gay” Byrne died on November 4th, 2019 after a long illness. “Gaybo”, who was 85, has been heralded over the years as one of the most influential Irish radio and television host in our history. Byrne presented ‘The Late Late Show’ for over 37 years. He is survived by his wife Kathleen, daughters Crona and Suzy and their families.
In a statement, his family said: “It is with sadness that Kathleen, Crona and Suzy wish to announce that their beloved Gay has died peacefully at home today, surrounded by his family.”
In 2010, the Irish Times said that Gay Byrne was “unquestionably the most influential radio and television man in the history of the Irish State.”
Born in 1934, Byrne had a long and successful career in radio and television. Starting off in 1958, he landed a spot playing jazz on Monday nights for Radio Éireann. The rest is now cemented firmly into Irish history books. Gaybo presented the hugely successful show, ‘The Late Late Show’, from its inception in 1962 until 1999.
From 1973 until 1998, Byrne presented ‘The Gay Byrne Hour’ (later ‘The Gay Byrne Show’). The show ran each weekday morning on RTÉ Radio 1. In more recent years, he went on to present several other shows such as ‘The Meaning of Life’ and ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
In 2006 he was elected chairman of the Road Safety Authority and served for eight years until September 2014. The RSA have said: “Gay leaves a road safety legacy that will endure.”
In 2011, Byrne was approached by Fianna Fáil as a possible independent nominee for the year’s Presidential election. Despite topping the polls, Byrne announced that he would not run.
Gaybo will be missed by all, and as an Irish journalistic publication, we have and enormous amount to thank him for.
Thanks Uncle Gaybo.
Conor Capplis – Editor