An investigation has been launched after a homeless man was found dead in the campus of UCD.
The 71-year-old was known to use the grounds of the college for over 20 years.
Over that time he had became known to staff and students alike.
Michael Byrne, affectionately known as “Old Man Belfield” by students and staff, sadly passed away on Monday 11 January 2021.
A fiercely private person, we thank those of you who quietly looked out for Michael.
We will miss him around the campus.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. pic.twitter.com/3Dnbdjyssf
— University College Dublin (@ucddublin) January 11, 2021
Students fondly referred to Mr Byrne 'Old Man Belfield'.
Today, many have described himas a part of the fabric of University College Dublin.
Lecturer and Assistant Professor at UCD, Orla Hegarty described Mr Byrne as "a very gently soul".
"He never intruded on anybody and I think a lot of people will be remembering him fondly today."
There are calls for a mural or plaque to be erected in his memory.
As a UCD alumni I 100% agree with Aidan here. It would be great if Michael Byrne “Old Man Belfield” had his mural in UCD. UCD students, staff and alumni all know him, he was part of the UCD campus. https://t.co/k7wLfx9fLD
— Dominik Michalik (@Dominik_Mk) January 11, 2021
Co Editor of the College Tribune, Luke Murphy says he's "a legend" around Belfield.
"When you come in as a first year and you hear the stories and you see him."
"He's almost etched into the folklore of UCD."
Meanwhile, Services Manager with Focus Ireland Adrian Quinn, says he knew Michael for many years.
Mr Quinn says more should be done "for the Michael's of this world."
"There should have been done a long time ago".
"Michael was at the end of a long life of not getting enough and not getting enough interventions ."
Gardaí say the results of a post mortem will determine the course of their investigation.
UCD Students Share Their Memories Of Mr Byrne On Social Media
Meanwhile, many past and present students of University College Dublin have taken to Twitter to share their memories of the much-loved character.
— Aoife Hegarty (@aoifehegs) January 12, 2021
Many people remarked the peaceful nature of Mr Byrne.
Ah so sad to see this, he was a UCD legend 😢 I remember first encountering him walking back from Pharmacolgy one evening, when we were based in Merville, shortly after I started in UCD around 20 years ago. Such a quiet, peaceful man. RIP ‘Old Man Belfield’ https://t.co/Y0o2ejHOHj
— Tara McMorrow, PhD (@McmorrowTara) January 11, 2021
One student remembered the support students gave to "a campus icon".
I'm gutted. He was a campus icon, well loved by students and faculty. https://t.co/K1ehAgHnlg
— David Monaghan (@DavidBandF) January 11, 2021