In the weeks since the passing of Michael Byrne, known to many as Old Man Belfield, a number of individuals have come forward with new information about his identity and background. These include a man who has taken a DNA test in order to determine whether Mr Byrne was his father.
According to The Independent, the man, who has so far remained anonymous, approached the local Garda with the information a few days after Michael’s death. The results of the DNA test have not yet been reported. According to a source close to the situation, the man will not comment until he receives the test results.
The story comes in the wake of another person coming forward with more possible information about Michael’s past. According to the Independent, this person believes that Old Man Belfield could have been their missing friend, also named Michael Byrne, who was presumed to have emigrated. This Michael Byrne was the best man at their wedding, as well as the godfather to their daughter, and reportedly had “strikingly similar features” to the late Belfield regular. While not yet fully confirmed, this is one of few clues about Michael’s story to have yet emerged.
It is unclear what connection, if any, there is between the two people who have come forward.
Michael, a beloved fixture of campus for decades, passed away in Belfield in January. A private individual, he rarely spoke, but was well-known for being friendly with students and staff, as well as the greater local community. Until recently, Michael was most commonly known as Old Man Belfield, though the family who looked after his affairs preferred to refer to him as “The Dreamer”. His funeral was hosted by UCD, and he was laid to rest in Kilternan Cemetery.
Jack McGee – Reporter