Patrick Byrne (1797?-1863), Blind Irish harpist
Sitter in 4 portraits
Byrne was enrolled at a harp school for young blind boys which was set up by an Irish Harp Society in Ireland where he was born. He graduated in 1821showing proficiency on the harp, having learned 60 tunes. Byrne moved to London and performed all over the country. He was presented with a silver medal by the Shakespearean Club of Stratford on Avon in recognition for his abilities as well as numerous other awards. Described by Francis O'Neill as 'the last of the great Irish harpers' his death marked the passing of the old style of playing the Irish harp, a tradition which stretched back hundreds of years.