124 aka 512 South Circular Road RIALTO

St JamesCounty Dublin

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Gay Byrne's childhood home

This faux-tudor house (pictured above with a brown door) was the childhood home of Ireland's legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne (1934-2019). Fondly known locally as "Gaybo's House", this house was part of the local development built by Guinness in the mid 19th century.

Gabriel Mary Byrne (born August 5, 1934) was the youngest of six children. He grew up in Rialto (a developing village near the Guinness Brewery) in Dublin's south inner-city. He attended Rialto National School across the road (now the Rialto Community Centre) and later the CBS in Synge Street.

The Byrne family first lived at 17 Rialto Street before moving just around the corner to 124 South Circular Road in the city (now 512*). 

Gay Byrne, on a return visit to Rialto shared fond memories about his interactions with the shop next door which was a greengrocer at that time (now an off-licence). 

What was Rialto like when Gay was growing up?

"It was really a Guinness ghetto. There was Rialto Street, Rialto Cottages and Rialto Buildings. And there was the South Circular Road. The people in the South Circular Road looked down on the people who lived in Rialto Street. And the people in Rialto Street looked down on the people who lived in Rialto Cottages. And the people who lived in Rialto Cottages looked down on the people who lived in Rialto Buildings. There was a hierarchy of looking down."

Who did the people who lived in Rialto Buildings look down on?

"Well," Gay laughs, "if they lived on the top floor! "

*With the introduction of new houses in this area after World War II, the South Circular Road (aka SCR) was renumbered.


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Gay Byrne presents RTE's First Late Late Show
Rialto National School 
Synge Street CBS
 
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