Bang Bang was born Thomas Dudley in the Rotunda Hospital in 1907. When his father died in 1913, Bang Bang was sent to an orphanage in Cabra but he lived most of his life in Mill Street and The Liberties.
He loved cowboy films and it was by recreating scenes from his favourite westerns that he earned the moniker Bang Bang. He would jump on the back of buses and trams and instigate mock gunfights with passers-by by pointing his ‘gun’, which was in fact one of his many large keys and shouting “bang bang”. Bang Bang became famous for his shoot-outs and usually when he started a ‘gunfight’ people would join in.
In later life Bang Bang was taken in to the care of the Rosminian Fathers. He died on 11 January 1981 and was buried in an unmarked grave in St Joseph’s Cemetery in Drumcondra. However, Bang Bang’s legacy lived on as he was so fondly remembered by is fondly remembered by many people who witnessed his antics in the 50s and 60s and in 2017, 36 years after his death, a headstone was erected on his grave. One of Bang Bang’s keys is on display in the Pearse Street Library and there is a local cafe in Drumcondra named after him.