John Byrne, b. 1933
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John Byrne, b. 1933


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Track 1: Background, growing up in Dublin (Rathfarnham), his early education and later entry to Trinity College Dublin in 1952 as an undergraduate, studying French and Classics, prior to beginning his engineering studies. Pays special tribute to his mentor Victor Graham in this regard. Being a Roman Catholic, a dispensation from the Church was required in order for him to take up his place at Trinity. Track 2: Graduating in Civil Engineering, working in Birmingham for an engineering firm at that time constructing the Hogan Stand for Croke Park. On returning to Dublin, employment with Dublin Corporation for three months, before enrolling for a Diploma in Concrete Technology at Imperial College, London. Track 3: 1957 – Enrolled for a PhD in Trinity College – in summer of 1958, spent three months with English Electric in Stafford, using the DEUCE (Digital Electronic Universal Computing Engine) computer. Track 4: Having graduated with a PhD, was awarded an ICI Fellowship and was appointed lecturer in Trinity College. His memories of that time, particularly the IBM 1620 computer acquired by the Engineering School. The educational programmes on offer to students in his Department. Track 5: In 1968, the focus on the need to upgrade the computing system and an anecdote about the location of the computer – the IBM 360/44 mainframe – the size of which dictated its installation in a hut beside the Berkeley library. Track 6: Summary of his professional career to 1973, when he was elected to a Chair of Computer Science at Trinity College. His was the first and largest Department of Computer Science in the country, increasing in staff numbers from 0 to 50. Track 7: The 1980s and the relocation of his department to Pearse St and subsequently to the O’Reilly Institute. Track 8: Discusses the decision to confer academic awards on Dublin Institute of Technology students through Trinity College. Track 9: The highs and lows of his professional life, and the digitization of the printed TCD Library catalogue (1872), of over 5,000 pages.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Trinity College, Dublin, Collection



Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.14 MB, 5.06 MB, 4.39 MB, 10.10 MB, 7.84 MB, 8.15 MB, 14.01 MB, 20.16 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Fellow Emeritus, Professor of Computer Science

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore