All-round man of the sea


Liam Boyd:LIAM BOYD, who has died aged 90, was a former commodore of the National Yacht Club. His association with the sea began at Blackrock Baths where he swam in the 1930s and for decades thereafter. With his brother Harry in the 1950s he began sailing in a Dublin Bay sailing club 12-footer.

He was captain of the 21s in 1963, when the controversial decision was taken to change the yacht's design from original gaff to Bermudan rig.

Forty-seven years later that six-boat fleet, which dates back to the 1890s, lies derelict in Wicklow and remains the oldest intact one-design keelboat fleet in the world.

He entertained his children with stories of adventures afloat, of races to Lambay Island, the Moulditch Bank off Greystones and each June bank holiday to Wicklow - all as exotic to young ears as Monte Carlo or Nice.

A member of both the National Yacht Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club, he was heavily involved in the administrative side of sailing. And, a member of Sandycove swimming club, he served as president of the Leinster branch of the Irish Amateur Swimming Association. He was particularly proud to be made a life member of both the National and Royal Irish yacht clubs.

His two sons share his enthusiasm for sailing. Michael is a former Round Ireland race winner, while Paddy was CEO of the Irish Sailing Association.

Born in Newcastle, Co Down, in 1920, he was one of four children of Patrick Russell Boyd, a solicitor, and his wife Mary, a nurse from Lancashire. Brought up in Blackrock, Co Dublin, he attended the Dominican Convent, Sion Hill, and Dún Laoghaire CBS.

After completing his secondary education at Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood College he studied law at UCD, where he was a stalwart of the L & H and a member of the Dramatic Society.

He served in the Local Defence Forces during the Emergency. After qualifying as a solicitor in 1942 he practised in Dublin.

In 1946 he joined Trans World Airways as an administrative assistant and subsequently became general manager for Ireland, a position he held until his retirement in 1979. His career at TWA preceded mass travel, when flying had a glamour it has long since lost. He travelled extensively and with his family shared tales of faraway places he visited and interesting characters he met.

A director of the ESB for 10 years, he also was a member of the National Tourism Council.

He was proud to have met president John F Kennedy on his visit to Ireland in 1963, and wept when he heard of Kennedy's assassination later that year.

A keen fisherman, he especially enjoyed salmon fishing on the Shannon at Castleconnell, Co. Limerick. Snooker was another of his pleasures, and he had a good singing voice.

Predeceased by his wife Audrey (née Magnier) in 1981, he is survived by his sons Michael and Paddy, and daughters Mary, Patricia, Susan and Sally-Ann.

Liam Boyd: born March 24th, 1920; died April 12th, 2010