Alfred Byrne

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Alfred Byrne (17 March 1882 – 13 March 1956), also known as Alfie Byrne, was an Irish nationalist politician, who served as both an MP in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and as a Teachta Dála in Dáil Éireann. As Lord Mayor of Dublin he was known as the "shaking hand of Dublin".

He was born in Dublin in 1882. He was the son of a docker, who died when Alfred was only thirteen years old. Byrne worked as a theatre programme seller and barman before buying his own pub, The Vernon in Talbot Street, Dublin. He entered politics at the age of twenty-seven, being elected to Dublin Corporation for North Dock ward with a large majority.

Byrne became an Alderman on Dublin Corporation in 1914. He was a member of the Dublin Port and Docks Board, a significant position for a politician from the Dublin Harbour constituency. In the records of the Oireachtas his occupation is given as company director.

He was elected MP for Dublin Harbour in a by-election on 1 October 1915, as an Irish Parliamentary Party candidate. He was defeated by Philip Shanahan of Sinn Féin, in the 1918 general election.

Byrne's constituent Philip Shanahan (the man who defeated him in 1918) had legal problems following the Easter Rising. Shanahan consulted the lawyer and Nationalist politician Timothy Healy. Byrne attended this conference between Shanahan and his Parliamentary colleague. Healy commented:

The rapid decline of the Irish Parliamentary Party and the...
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