Packie Manus Byrne

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Packie Manus Byrne was born in Corkermore, between Ardara and Killybegs, Co Donegal in February 1917. He is a gifted writer, composer of songs and tunes, a fantastic storyteller and above all a magnificent singer of old and new ballads - surely a man of extraordinary talent. He spent most of his life entertaining others and so it was little wonder that in the early sixties, when the folk revival began in England, he sold up his mountain farm to become a full time entertainer on the folk circuit there. Packie learned many of his songs from listening to his parents, friends and neighbours, as they entertained around the fire during long winter nights. He also collected many songs from migrant workers from his own area that crossed yearly to the farms and the bothies in Scotland. His many jobs around the North West before, through and after World War II, cattle drover, smuggler, actor, circus hand, steeple jack and carter - brought many songs and stories as well. He became a cult figure in Britain in the sixties and until his semi-retirement from that scene in the late eighties, he was highly respected and fondly regarded by many. His interesting and varied life led to a most entertaining and enjoyable autobiography, Recollections of a Donegal Man (1989). During his long singing career many albums graced the shelves of record shops. His lives now in contented retirement in Ardara but he still enjoys the company of the many friends from the singing world who regularly visit him. (from The singing : an exhibition of photographs / by Ken Garland ; biographical notes on the singers by Jimmy McBride)


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Packie Manus Byrne
Name:Packie Manus Byrne
Townland:Ardara, Co. Donegal
Dates:born 1917
ITMA Reference Number:12156-PH
Image Creator:Jimmy McBride

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