Tributes flow as "Old Man Belfield" Michael Byrne sadly dies

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A rough sleeper who lived on the campus of University College Dublin and who was fondly known to UCD students as “Old Man Belfield” has sadly died.

Michael Byrne, understood to be in his 70s, was known to generations of students and staff who used the Belfield campus, passed away this morning after being found unresponsive.

Tributes have now come from far and wide, sharing memories of Michael, and the appreciation he had for those who helped him over the years.

Students remembered the respect he had for those who offered him food and drinks from the Students Union restaurant, while teaching staff shared their fondness of his presence on campus over the last two decades.

One Professor said: “He was a distinguished member of the UCD community, contributing so positively to our vibrant campus.”

In 2014, Humans of Dublin shared a look into his personality and the love and respect he had from many across the college campus.

While last November, the College Tribune shared a profile on Michael and how his life as a fixture on the college campus came to be.

In a statement issued this evening, UCD said: “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.”

Source: Dublin News