Good Reads: Alfie-The Life and Times of Alfie Byrne.

“Alfie: The Life and Times of Alfie Byrne” by Trevor White. Alfie Byrne is unique in the history of Independent Ireland. As Lord Mayor of Dublin continuously from 1930-1939, a former member of the House of Commons and both TD and senator, he was arguably the third or fourth most well known politician in the country. But more importantly, by his mayoral office he was seen as someone who spoke for Dubliners and in particular the working class Dubliners who loyally re-elected him time after time. The office of mayor, despite being ceremonial, was a useful soapbox that allowed him to intervene in the lives of many through access to the Corporation. After Byrne, the city council never again elected someone to two consecutive terms, returning the mayoralty to a mere political jolly, long enough for a year long ego trip but not long enough to be blamed for anything.

Makes one wonder what an elected mayor with powers could do.

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