by the Tipperary Association Dublin as the Hall of Fame winner for 2012.
A member of the famed Tipperary teams of the 1940’s and 1950’s he is still remembered today for his sterling and unstinting performances over those years.
Mickey "The Rattler" Byrne was born in Dublin in 1923. The family moved to Thurles when he was just 2 years of age and , thus, began a love affair with hurling, Thurles Sarsfields and Tipperary.
In 1939 he won a Dean Ryan Cup medal with Thurles CBS while playing as goalkeeper. Mickey played with the Tipperary minor team that lost the 1941 Munster final to Cork.Over the next few years Mickey’s hurling career took off and he won the first of his fourteen
County Senior Medals with Sarsfields in 1944 while playing at centre field. The following year he was selected for the first time on the Tipperary Senior Team that beat Kilkenny in the AllIreland final and in doing so he collected the first of his five Senior All Ireland medals.
In his career he won:-
• Dean Ryan Cup medal with Thurles CBS
• 14 County Senior Hurling titles with Thurles Sarsfields – a record which stands to this day.
• 5 Senior All-Ireland Hurling medals (1945, 3 in a row 49 – 51 and again in 1958)
• 7 National League medals – he captained the wining Tipperary team in 1960 – his last appearance in his beloved “Blue and Gold”.
He was selected at right corner back on the GAA’s Hurling “Team of the Century”.He continued to play for Thurles Sarsfields for another five years and in 1965 he collected his 14th County Senior Hurling medal when they beat Carrick Davins after a replay in Cashel.
Since retirement, he has been the recipient of many awards acknowledging his contribution to the game. In 2011 he published his life story -"The Rattler, Mickey Byrne, Tipperary Hurling Legend" which was received with great acclaim and which sold out in record time. Typical of Mickey, proceeds from the publication went to the Thurles Sarsfields Club and to local charities."
He is President of Thurles Sarsfield and he still attends as many matches and functions as he can. He takes great pride in watching the likes of Padraic Maher, Michael Cahill, Ger “Redser O’Grady, Lar Corbett, Pa Bourke and all the present crop of Sarsfields hurlers who are keeping the Club at the top.
Mickey is one of the great characters of the GAA world. His wit and fund of stories is legendary. Whatever the occasion, be it at matches, weddings, wakes, or funerals, The Rattler always has an appropriate anecdote , delivered in his own unique style.
Now in his 90th year, "The Rattler" still welcomes the many callers and friends who drop in for a chat to his home where he lives with his son Noel, daughter in law Margaret and their two sons Mícheal and Padraig. Mickey's late wife Mary always had a great
welcome for those who called to the Byrne household in Loughtagalla, Thurles. Here they reared their six boys, Paul, Martin, Michael, Chanel, Sean and Noel and one daughter Ena.
Speaking at the formal announcement of his nomination, Liam Myles, President of the Tipperary Association Dublin, said that “ The Rattler evokes strong memories of a great Tipperary hurling era – one which was still captures the imagination and awe of those who grew up in county in the 1940’s and 50’s”.
“He always gave of his best and was seldom beaten – even in his twilight years”. He went on to quote from John D. Hickey, writing in the Irish Independent on the Monday after the 1958 victory when he wrote “ that Mickey Byrne, although pitted against one of the losers (Galway) best forwards, proved that it will take a great man to lay a compelling claim to his place”.
“Proof positive that the ‘Rattler’ was one of the greats of his era” said Myles. He concluded by stating that “ for his heroic achievements on the hurling fields of Tipperary and Ireland , his strength of character and attitude and the pride he brought to Tipperary people in his playing days, the Tipperary Association Dublin is proud and delighted to name Mickey ‘Rattler’ Byrne as the Hall of Fame winner for 2012”.
Mickey Byrne will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Association’s Annual Awards dinner in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin on Saturday 25 May 2013.
- ENDS –
Further information from Liam Myles, President Tel.: 087 2866018 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets for the Awards dinner are available from:
Pat Ryan, Honorary Secretary, 11 Foxfield Grove, Raheny, Dublin 5. Tel.: 087 6376663
The Tipperary Association Dublin Ltd.