Byrne, James Loughlin (‘Locky’) (1913–41), hurler, was born 28 April 1913 at 41 Morgan St., Waterford city, the only child of James Byrne, engine driver, and Johanna Byrne (née McGrath). He was educated locally at Mount Sion CBS. A hurling prodigy, he won a Co. Waterford minor title with Ferrybank Emeralds in 1928 at the age of 14, and despite his youth and slight build was brought into the county side for the following year's minor championship. He played at right corner forward on the Waterford team that won the 1929 All-Ireland minor title, the first All-Ireland won by the county at any level. Promoted to the county's senior side in 1930, he was full forward on the Waterford side that narrowly lost the 1931 Munster final to Cork; but the following year his club, Ferrybank, was transferred from Waterford to Kilkenny by the GAA and shortly afterwards he joined the Kilkenny club Slieve Rua. Although he was unable to break into the extremely strong Kilkenny team of the early 1930s immediately, his form at club level for Slieve Rua and later Mooncoin earned him a place on the county side for the 1934 season.
He won his first and only senior All-Ireland medal as full-forward on the Kilkenny team that triumphed over Limerick in the 1935 final, and was also on the Kilkenny side that lost the following year's final to the same opposition. In 1935 he had been one of eight Kilkenny players selected for the Leinster side that lost that year's Railway cup final to Munster, and was a substitute on the Leinster side that gained revenge over the Munster men in the 1936 final. In late 1936 GAA central council transferred Ferrybank back to Waterford, but he continued to play his club hurling with Mooncoin until 1937, when he was deemed ineligible to play in Kilkenny after objections were raised by several Kilkenny clubs. He transferred to the emerging Mount Sion club in Waterford and quickly established himself as a fixture in the club and county teams, helping Mount Sion to three Waterford senior titles in a row (1938–40). As full forward on the Waterford side for the 1938 season he was instrumental in the county's first ever Munster final victory, scoring two goals versus Cork in the semi-final and snatching a winning goal in the final seconds of the final against Clare. Despite his presence and that of such hurling luminaries as Christy Moylan and John Keane (qv), Waterford lost their first All-Ireland final to Dublin. In 1939 he became one of the select band of hurlers to win Railway Cup medals with two provinces when he was selected on the successful Munster side of that year.
Although small and of slight build he was a tremendously skilful hurler, renowned for the speed and intelligence of his attacking play. His abundant skill and enthusiasm and the novelty of his playing career for two counties and provinces made him a hurling legend in his own time, and his death at the age of 27 was a huge blow to both Mount Sion and Waterford hurling. After contracting tuberculosis early in 1940 he died 17 January 1941 in Peamount sanatorium, Dublin, and was buried at the Chapel of Ease, Ferrybank, Waterford. He never married and lived at Sallypark, Ferrybank, Co. Waterford, with his father.