Born at Maiden Hall outside the village of Bennettsbridge, Butler was a man of many talents. We remember him as a human rights campaigner, activist, writer, fluent Russian-speaker who translated the writings of Chekov and was a co-reviver of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society.
Butler travelled throughout Europe in the inter-war years, writing about what he saw. Witnessing the persecution of Jews by the Nazi puppet government of Croatia, Butler foresaw that even worse was to come. He launched his own rescue mission in Vienna, at his own expense. With the help of his wife, Peggy Guthrie, and the Quakers, Butler managed to ship more than 100 Jews out of the Austrian capital and into England, saving them from the concentration camps.
He died in January 1991 and is buried in Ennisnag.