HONOURS ONE OF SCOTLAND ROAD'S FINEST
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Joe Devaney, unveiling the restored monument
A restored memorial honouring one of Scotland Road's most famous sons has, been officially unveiled in the area.
The memorial to Irish-born Victorian city councillor and philanthropist Patrick Byrne - nicknamed 'Dandy Pat' has been moved to a new site in the grounds of the Grade 2 listed St Anthony's Church which has been a landmark on Scotland Road since the middle of the last century.
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Joe Devaney, was the VIP guest at the unveiling ceremony that was also attended by some of Dandy Pat's descendants who travelled from lreland for the occasion.
The memorial has been restored with the help of funding from North Liverpool Partnership and the Irish Fund of Great Britain and donations from businesses and residents in the area.
Dandy Pat - so called because of his fashionable clothes - was born in the village of Ferns in County Wexford in 1845. He sailed for Liverpool in 1862, arriving in the city with just a few pennies in his pocket.
He worked as a dock labourer for three years - frequently speaking out against the appalling conditions - before becoming a publican.
So popular and successful was he as a landlord that he soon acquired the much larger Morning Star pub Scotland Place. This became his flagship and he went on to acquire other pubs and property throughout the city.
Despite this success in business, Dandy Pat remained a man of the people living at the Morning Star, which became a centre of charitable work for the poor of the district.
As a councillor, he always advocated what he considered to be in the interest of the working people of the city, many of whom he befriended and helped, particularly in hard winters or when work was scarce.
When he died at the young age of 45, thousands of people gathered round the pub to wait for his body to be removed, following it in silence to the nearby church.
Reporting his funeral, the Liverpool Review paid a remarkable tribute to his memory: "It is a long time since the poor people of Liverpool came out spontaneously to line the road when a funeral passed. Whatever other qualities he possessed, Mr Byrne possessed in eminent degree the quality of endearing himself to the poor and distressed".
His body was buried in Ireland, but a memorial fountain was erected outside his former pub, paid for by donations from local working people including refuse collectors and dockers.
The memorial remained in Scotland Place until the 1970s when road widening resulted in it being moved to Pownall Square where it was vandalised in 1983.
In 1998 a group of local people joined forces as the Dandy Pat Memorial Committee to, create a new memorial which incorporates what remains of the original fountain.
The memorial now has a permanent home in the grounds of the most important building remaining on Scotland Road.
St Anthony's Church was recently floodlit by North Liverpool Partnership to herald the start of a new regeneration programme for the area,
North Liverpool Partnership, Community Programmes Manager, George Allen said, "The story of Patrick Byrne is obviously a very important piece of local history and we wore delighted to be able to support the local community in honouring this remarkable man."
14-page 'Dandy' Pat Byrne
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