Bang Bang was an eccentric elderly gentleman named Thomas Dudley. He was born in 1906 in The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, the eldest son of John Dudley. His father passed away in 1913 so he was raised in an orphanage in Cabra, Dublin. He lived most of his life on Mill Street in The Coombe, Dublin.
Bang Bang appeared on the streets of Dublin in the twenties. He carried a large church key in his pocket, which he used as a gun. He came to fame in the 50’s and 60’s. A fan of cowboy films, Bang Bang used to travel on the trams of the city staging mock shootouts with the people passing by. That is how he got his nickname.
He belonged to the city. His favourite hunting ground was the trams. Passengers and passersby and a whole street of grown-ups could be seen shooting at each other and falling down dead! He often appeared on the back of buses and trams and started shooting the people on board.
He is still mentioned in books and his key is on display in the Reading Room of the Dublin City Archives.
In later life, he was taken in and cared for by the Rosminian Brothers in Drumcondra. He died in their care on the 11th of January 1981. He was buried in their cemetery and is widely remembered by the older community.