Master craftsman, Des Byrne is a 73 year old die-hard Dublin supporter who has his fascinating workshop in the shadow of Kilkenny Castle at the Castle Yard where the horses for the big house were kept in centuries gone by.
The renowned gold and silversmith has spent the last few days doing a “service” on the Sam McGuire cup ahead of Sunday’s mouth watering All Ireland senior football final between his home county and Kerry.
Crumlin born and raised, he said that the cup was in “reasonable shape” after its year in Kerry, his words coinciding with a telling wink, emphasising there was something he wasn’t at liberty to reveal.
He obviously didn’t want to rile the kingdom supporters before Sunday. He predicted that the Sky Blues would lift the cup on Sunday evening in Croke Park.
He has been to every Dublin championship match this year and has been very impressed with the backs. “We only have to win by a point and that will do us,” he said.
He has a special affection for former Dublin defender, Keith Barr. “If he was playing Sunday we would definitely win, no questions asked,” he said. He will travel up on Sunday with confidence.
The highly respected and much loved city slicker has been in Kilkenny since 1968 when he came to train as gold and silversmith with the Kilkenny Design Workshops.
He has always felt that the workshops and those behind it never received the credit they deserved for establishing such a facility which has had such a huge impact and putting Kilkenny on the map as a of gold and silver jewellery design centre with a number of excellent smiths located in the city including James Mary Kelly next door to him. Kelly is the man responsible for the upkeep of the Liam McCarthy Cup.