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