A carpenter before entering politics, Byrne stood unsuccessfully for election to Dáil Éireann as a Workers' Party candidate for Dublin Rathmines West in the 1977 general election and Dublin South Central in the 1981, February 1982, November 1982 and 1987 general elections. He was finally elected in the 1989 election. He joined with Workers' Party members who formed Democratic Left in 1992. He lost his seat in the 1992 general election - Labour's Pat Upton was unexpectedly returned on the first count, with Byrne finally losing the last seat to Fianna Fáil's Ben Briscoe by five votes after a marathon 10-day count. He was returned to the 27th Dáil at a by-election on 9 June 1994 following the resignation of long-serving Fianna Fáil TD John O'Connell (who had previously been a Labour TD for the same constituency). Byrne was a backbench supporter of the 'Rainbow' government led by Fine Gael's John Bruton.
Byrne lost his seat again at the 1997 general election. Although Labour and the Democratic Left merged in 1999, he was not selected to contest the Dublin South Central by-election which followed Pat Upton's death later that year. Upton's sister Mary was elected for Labour.
Byrne contested the 2002 general election on the Labour ticket as Mary Upton's running-mate, but was unsuccessful. However, he had been elected in 1999 as a Labour member of Dublin City Council for Crumlin/Kimmage, and was re-elected in the 2004 local elections. Along with Mary Upton, he contested the Dublin South Central constituency in the Irish general election, 2007 advocting a Labour/Fine Gael government but missed the final seat by 69 votes. Byrne has been nominated by the Labour Party to contest the Seanad election in the Labour panel. Byrne will be contesting this panel alongside running mates Phil Prenderghast and Senator Michael McCarthy.
Anti-racism campaigners have joined forces with Labour politician Eric Byrne in denouncing racist posters that have have appeared on Dublin streets.
Oct 27, 2008; of our OAPsINCENDIARY: Offensive posters on the streets of Dublin Anti-racism campaigners have joined forces with Labour...
'A Passing Child Could Have Found These and Ended Up Maimed or Killed' - TD ERIC BYRNE YESTERDAY; BOMBS IN THE PARK
Nov 17, 2007; Byline: By DARREN BOYLE, Crime Reporter GANGSTERS dumped two killer pipe bombs in a park between a playground and a school. The...