Humans of the NEIC – Lewis

Young man with Sandy blonde hair
Lewis Byrne was born and raised in Ballybough and is a Community Worker with Dublin Community Co-Op. Credit: Cherise Boraski

‘I was really involved in different community services, youth services, and things like that. I feel that had a really profound effect on me growing up and a really good effect as well. That led me down the path I am now; I work for a community organisation that gives back to the community in similar ways to the ones I would’ve taken part in growing up. So it’s all come full circle for me now, and it feels really nice, you know? Even now, my little sister she’s 11 or 12. She’s also involved in the Ballybough Youth Club. So it’s great just to see the next generation and now working with the next generation of kids coming up. Just like the kids I work with in the Larkin Community School, teaching them, giving them their initial lessons for cooking, health and nutrition, and obviously with health and nutrition and athletics. I was involved in a lot of football, you know, like we’re really heavily into our football around here, and I would’ve also been involved in some of the local teams as well growing up. But it never really gelled with me, and then I eventually got into martial arts through one of my cousins. Now, along with the community work, I’m also a professional MMA fighter. So, doing the whole martial arts over the last like 7 or 8 years, that’s also led me down to coaching now. So I coach the Youth MMA teams in Ryano Finglas, and they compete all over the world. A couple of my kids were actually just competing there in Serbia at the youth championships. I was away at the time so that I couldn’t go over. So some other coaches looked after them, but one of the kids I coach won a silver world medal. So that was a good moment, you know? Also, being involved with the whole martial arts scene. I would’ve travelled to like a lot of different places all over the world to fight over the last couple of years. That’s like, it’s given me so, so many different opportunities to do those sort of things. That’s such a big part of my own life as well. The job that I’m working at, there’s just a really nice, um, sort of, they complement each other, you know?’