Wednesday, September 29, 2010

JOHN BYRNE rip

Yesterday was a sad day for Greyhound folk

Irish greyhound sport lost one of its greatest supporters yesterday when Paddy Byrne passed away after a brave battle with illness in recent years.




Known throughout the greyhound world as the “Catunda man”, Paddy was born, bred and lived all his life in Dublin. Born in 1932 into a greyhound environment, he attended his first Irish Derby final back in 1944 at twelve years of age.



A butcher for more than forty years, he passed over the shop in Beaumont to his sons and established a fine greyhound complex in St Margarets.



Over the years he owned and trained some great greyhounds, ranging from Glow and Seskin Mist to Blue Rum, Catunda Flame and then the great Catunda Lace (grand dam of Derby winner Like A Shot) and dog of the year Catunda Harry.



Paddy Byrne was as much immersed in coursing as he was with the track and he thoroughly enjoyed the success of Catunda Ashmore in the final of the Champion Stakes at Powerstown in February 2009. Indeed the same dog gave Paddy his latest success when winning the Adios Alonso Sprint final at Shelbourne on Derby semi-final night.



Son Michael has trained the Catunda dogs for many years and he will proudly maintain the family flag. Paddy’s wife Imelda is one of the great ladies of the Irish track scene and will hopefully continue to grace Shelbourne with her presence.



We extend the sympathies of the greyhound world to Imelda and her family. Paddy was a most popular individual and, while we had many an argument over the years, they always ended with a touching of the glasses and a grin. In recent times he has turned up at Shelbourne on a very regular basis in his wheelchair, game to the last. He will be sadly missed.



May he rest in peace