It is with great regret that the College Tribune reports the death of Michael Byrne, a homeless man who has become a fixture of UCD’s Belfield campus affectionately known by the students of as ‘Old Man Belfield’ and as the ‘Dreamer’ in his local area.
Michael Byrne passed away on UCD grounds during the night of the 10th of January and was identified by members of the family who took care of him for several decades. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made and an autopsy will be performed in the coming days to determine the cause of Byrne’s passing.
Little is known about ‘Old Man Belfield’ who was a popular figure among students on campus and was looked after by an informal care network while on campus. Local shopkeepers, including those at UCD, gave him food and other items. Agencies like Focus Ireland have also checked in on Michael, usually on a purely observational basis. Many times Michael has chosen to turn away aid.
Members of the family caring for Michael were unable to confirm whether Michael did actually stop an assault on campus or any of the other stories about him. However, he did suggest that UCD administration and security has nevertheless kept a watchful eye over Michael, making sure he’s safe during inclement weather and protecting him from being pushed out of the area.
Hugh Dooley – News Editor
Jack McGee – Reporter
2 thoughts on “Michael Byrne, Old Man Belfield, Died Last Night in UCD”
My sympathy to all who befriended Michael Byrne, Old Man Belfield. It is great to hear that a homeless man who opted for independence rather than hostels had access to friendship, care and security on your campus while still having the space to maintain his reclusive life and privacy. There are homeless people who choose to live this way and shun offers of accommodation. The campus is an ideal location for such a homeless , reclusive person to live quietly. You might consider adopting another homeless person, I’m sure Simon could partner you with one. It would be great if every university would adopt an “Old Man / Lady Belfield” and extend the informal supports as you did for Michael. I’m sure you made his life a lot happier one.
I hope you will publish funeral arrangements . I would like to leave a mass card in his memory.
He traversed the roads of UCD , Donnybrook, Mounr Merrion for over 30 years.
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