Joe Byrne was a true gentleman
BRAY LOST one of its true gentlemen with death of Joe Byrne on March 11 after a long illness at the young age of just 56 years.
A native of St. Peter's Road in Little Bray, Joe was well known for his cheerful and jovial manner and would always stop for a few words with anyone he knew, which was many in the local community. For many years he was actively involved with St. Peter's Church, Little Bray; fundraising, the use of his skills as a painter, and a regular reader of the gospel at 12 Mass each Sunday.
He worked as a craft worker with the Local Authority in Dun Laoghaire before he became a full-time Trade Union official with his union, the Union of Construction, Allied Trades & Technicians (UCATT) in the mid 90's. He was a regional industrial official for his Union, representing craft workers in both the public and private sector.
A trade union member for 40 years, he comes from a proud tradition in a trade union family. He was active in his union from an early age, becoming branch president then branch secretary for UCATT in Bray before his appointment as a fulltime official.
His Union has a proud history in Bray, going back over 110 years and was a founder member of the Council of Trade Unions in 1917.
Joe was a delegate to the Bray and District Council of Trade Unions for the past 20 years and served as its President for three terms and was Secretary for ten years until his illness.
He was also chairperson of the Wicklow Trade Union Centre, which he helped to establish in 1993 after many years of campaigning, and was immensely proud of its success over the years including the securing of FETAC accreditation for its education and training courses.
Joe also represented the Council of Trade Unions/ICTU on many local bodies; such as the County Wicklow Development Board, the Bray Town Council Municipal Policy Committee,
Bray Community Enterprise Ltd, and on the Board of the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology.
His life was crowned with achievement, respect and admiration from his colleagues and friends. He was one of nature's gentlemen and will be sadly missed by all.
The late Joe Byrne, RIP.