Friday August 7, 2020

So much more than the housewives’ choice

Endlessly taking the pulse of the nation and letting the story be told, Gay Byrne was a singular presence in Irish daily life

10th November, 2019
Gay Byrne in his RTÉ Radio 1 studio in 1988

More influence than Éamon de Valera? More than TK Whitaker? More than Mary Robinson? Yes, Gay Byrne probably shaped today’s Ireland like no one else. The liberal and liberating conversations on his radio and TV programmes changed people’s ways of thinking about the Church, abuse, contraception, politics . . . even nighties. All the important stuff. He opened a window on a stuffy society and let in a huge gust of fresh air.


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