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UCD pays tribute to 'Old Man Belfield' who died on campus yesterday

By James Fenton

January 12, 2021 at 12:09pm

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University College Dublin has posted a tribute to Michael Byrne, known as Old Man Belfield, who died on campus yesterday.

The body of Michael Byrne, a homeless man who was well-known by students and staff at UCD, was found on the campus just after midday on Monday. He was known to sleep on UCD grounds and was affectionately known as Old Man Belfield by those who knew him.

UCD have paid tribute to the 71-year-old, posting that 'Michael Byrne, affectionately known as “Old Man Belfield” by students and staff, sadly passed away on Monday 11 January 2021. A fiercely private person, we thank those of you who quietly looked out for Michael. We will miss him around the campus. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.'

Others have added their own tributes, with Gavan Reilly of Virgin Media News writing that the news was 'dreadfully sad' and that he 'always thought it said a lot that such a big and disparate community as Belfield always managed to keep a look out for him.'

A follower added that 'I think every student has some sort of a memory with him. Like he was the centre of the university,' while another said that Michael was 'a calming presence amongst the noise.'

Sadly missed by all those who knew him. Rest in peace, Old Man Belfield.

(header pic: Shutterstock)

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