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  • Published: 15 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241982457
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99
Categories:

Alfie

The Life And Times Of Alfie Byrne




The first biography of the beloved long-time Lord Mayor of Dublin

Alfie Byrne was that rarest of things: a genuinely popular politician, and a genuine independent. He is still a figure of legend in Dublin, where he was elected Lord Mayor ten times. He was also a TD and a Senator; and only a backroom deal prevented him from becoming the first President of Ireland in 1938. Rising from inner city Dublin to become known as the 'Lord Mayor of Ireland', he was a truly remarkable figure. And yet there has never been a biography of Alfie Byrne - until now.

Trevor White's sparkling book tells the story of a man of many parts and contradictions. He was an urbane man of the world who left left school at thirteen. He was a teetotal publican. He was a Parnellite who opposed violence, but he was sympathetic to the Easter rebels. His politics were fundamentally conservative, but he was deeply devoted to the poor of his native city.

This is the story of an energetic young man who offered to lead his community and refused to stop governing for forty years. His ambition and charm won admirers in the great capitals of the world - and in the tenements of Ireland's capital. At his best, he represented and encouraged a broader understanding of what it means to be Irish. And, through it all, he was a great personality, an embodiment of all that is best about Dublin.

  • Published: 15 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9780241982457
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99
Categories:

About the author

Trevor White

Trevor White is Ireland's leading food critic. He now publishes The Dubliner, a city magazine, and edited The Dubliner100 Best Restaurants, Ireland's bestselling restaurant guide.

Praise for Alfie

Hugely entertaining ... This is the first proper account of his life, and it's bolstered by White's access to Byrne's family papers

Damian Corless, Irish Independent

Trevor White brings [Alfie Byrne] vividly to life in the pages of his elegant new biography

Leo Varadkar, Sunday Independent

Peppered with delectable anecdotes ... Well researched and spryly written, this is an elegant account of one of our capital city's half-forgotten sons

John Walshe, Sunday Business Post

White has found a deliciously rich seam to mine in Alfie Byrne ... Byrne's Dublin is revived in glorious Technicolor, and with much affection. It's a lively, boisterous, contradictory, occasionally maddening place, Much like the man himself, really.

Tanya Sweeney, Irish Times

Alfie could easily have been a sentimental rags-to-riches story about the son of a docker who escaped Sean O'Casey's "long haggard corridors of rottenness and ruin" to become a minor power broker among the bankers and lawyers while living in a Dublin 6 pile. Instead, White , who admires his quarry, doesn't pull punches when it comes to describing how the career of the genial Byrne eventually lost steam.

Tom Mooney, Sunday Times

Brilliantly told ... an inimitable portrait of Dublin for the forty-two years, 1914-56, that Alfie dominated the political scene

Bridget Hourican, Cara

This enormously enjoyable biography doesn't seek to canonise Alfie, or to demonise him. It does what all good biographies should, which is simply to tell us the protagonist's true story; and it does what all great biographies should do, which is to make that story a delight to read

Irish Daily Mail

Trevor White has done today's citizenry some service in providing us with a balanced and well-researched account of the phenomenon that was Dublin's own Alfie Byrne

Tom Wall, Dublin Review of Books

Now at last this very representative Dubliner has got an ideal biographer ... amusing, instructive and insightful

Irish Catholic

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