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Twitter reacts to last night’s Gay Byrne documentary; “he sparked conversations and change”

Gay Byrne
Pic: VIP Magazine

Yesterday evening saw RTE air a highly anticipated documentary about the late Gay Byrne. The doc, called ‘Dear Gay’ specifically focused on his radio show which saw people write him in letters in their thousands during his time on air.

The acclaimed broadcaster began working on the Late Late Show in the ’60s and continued to do so until his retirement in 1991. As well as hosting the popular Friday night chat show, he’d join listeners on the radio too.

Throughout his time in RTE, Gay received thousands of letters from people up and down the country, and further afield too. The doc highlighted some of the best stories behind the letters, and where their senders are now.

Pic: RTE Archives

RTÉ’s archives are bursting with boxes of letters from members of the public who wrote to Gay to tell their stories, to complain, to seek help, share information and advice, or simply to publicise their invention, band, business or cause.

“Their stories are often funny and touching and many tell a tale of a more innocent Ireland. But there are many letters, too, that detail immense personal challenges, poverty and marginalisation.”

“People wrote letters to Gay sharing personal stories which they sometimes couldn’t even tell their best friends and family members, which lifted the lid on subjects such as domestic abuse, depression, alcoholism, divorce, abortion, forced adoptions, homosexuality, clerical and institutional abuse and more.”

The reaction to the doc has been overwhelmingly positive as viewers recall some of the moments shared on the show as well as the huge impact Gay had on people’s lives.

 

 

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