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Pat Byrne R.I.P 1933 – 2013

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailPByrneThe Irish wine trade was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of one of the trade’s  best know figures on Saturday October 19th, 2013.  Though well past retirement age Pat continued to work as a sales representative for Findlaters Wines & Spirits right up until the time of his death.    Pat was one of the most cheerful people you could meet, his enthusiasm for life was infectious.    Known by his childhood nickname “the Wah” he was a charismatic figure.   A great sportsman in his day he played  rugby for Monkstown Rugby Club and was also for many many years an active and keen hill walker, as well as  an enthusiastic swimmer. Pat  grew up  and lived in Dalkey all his  life.   He  worked for many years for Mitchell & Sons Wine Merchants.  When Mitchell’s sold their  wine portfolio to Wardell Roberts/Woodford Bourne, Pat went too as part of the deal.   As Woodford Bourne evolved to become  Findlalter Wines & Spirits, Pat continued to work for them, selling the wine portfolio  to his ever loyal customer  base. He organised the legendary wine suppers at the National Yacht Club, every month between October  and May.  Many of the  key journalist and wine trade people (including myself) would be co-opted in by Pat to host the evening.  Pat of course, was the real draw, his stories were legendary, tales of rugby trips and the wine trade were part of his huge repertoire. After  each dinner he would go from table to table to talk to every person in the room in order to find  out their opinion of the wines served that night!   The wine supper season would end with a  test of knowledge in the form of a wine quiz and the ultimate prize would be awarded by Pat, a magnum of Bollinger! He will be sorely missed by everyone in the wine trade and we offer our sincere condolence  to his wife Geraldine and to Rory, Colin and Éibhear and his extended family. We will not see his like again! Obituary by Jean Smullen