Charlie Cunningham remembers Paddy Byrne who died in mid-Summer:
"The great tragedy of 1916, was that James Connolly left no successor. His execution ensured that moderation weakened the radical and socialist nationalism that to some extent died with him. One of those who strove onwards, and was forever active throughout his long life was Paddy Byrne. That is until blindness forced him to return to Ireland, and live with his son, the Registrar of Roscommon Hospital. Even then he kept in touch with his friends, discussed every day political matters by phone, and had newspapers read to him, until the end.
He was gifted with a great memory, remembering seeing Dublin burning in 1916. By the 1930’s he was fully engaged with Republicans, and favoured a socialist approach to politics. He acted as General Secretary to the Republican Congress, and with Frank Ryan, he battled with Duffy and the Fascist Blue Shirts. He campaigned for those who went to Spain to oppose Franco, and his fascist, corporatist state.
His friends and colleagues were great champions of freedom, Frank Ryan, Peadar O’Donnell, the Gilmore brothers, Frank Edwards, Maire Comerford, Nora and Roddy Connolly, Sean Murry, Kit Conway, Tom Barry and so many more.
In the 1960’s Paddy lived in South London, and he was elected a Croydon Labour Party Councillor. He was also a member of the Connolly Association, and a friend to Sean Redmond, Paddy Bond and Desmond Greaves. With Bill Shaughnessy, Oliver Donoghue, and Mick Melly. He initiated the CDU to campaign for democracy in Ulster and it attracted support from many in the Wilson Government.
Until the handicap of blindness ended his London activities, he continued to encourage progress for a United Ireland. The two Connolly Association pamphlets he wrote “Memories of the Republican Congress” and the “Republican Congress revisited” were very much appreciated. Unfortunately the news of his mid-Summer death was delayed. Our sympathy goes to his son and family. We mourn his passing".