As 2022 came to a close, Bartlemy’s Denis Barry sadly passed away on 20th December. Proprietor of Denis Barry’s Bar at the cross, he was synonymous with the village.

After a hunting accident 13 years ago, he spent the last few years of his life in hospital where he continued to live life to the fullest. At his funeral, his daughter Triona Barry spoke about her father to those assembled, eliciting some tears – but more laughter! 

It is difficult to sum up a man’s life, and when that man has an impact like Denis Barry had, the task is nigh on impossible. Here, we leave it to his daughter to pay testament to the great man. May he rest in peace.

‘Today we are refusing to mourn; we are here to celebrate the life and times of Denis Barry.

On the day of their wedding, my mother sang ‘Top of the World’, and that song epitomised dad and every day he lived. He was always in the best of form, he never had a bad day, never had a dull moment. Never had a worry, and was never, ever in a hurry! Dad was born to Alice O’Farrell from Lismore and Denis Barry, Bartlemy. Tragically for my granny she lost Denis and sometime later she married Dan Dooley from Castlelyons. A second blow occurred when she was widowed again, leaving her with four children, a farm, and a pub to run. She never complained, or saw herself as a victim: she just got on with it. 

Dick Barry was her rock in those difficult times, and dad became an almost father-figure to his young siblings Marian, Moss and Dan. However, it wasn’t long before Dan and Moss outstretched dad in the height stakes, and also, the fashion stakes. Moss and Dan were the first in Bartlemy to wear flares!

Dad loved his time in UCC where he studied French. However he wouldn’t be a person to stick to timetables, or bother writing lesson notes, and he decided that days spent confined inside weren’t for him. He did however engage in subbing from time-to-time, and he was very proud of his time teaching Junior and Senior infants in Rathcormac. He often spoke with pride of his star pupils Carol Barry, James Maye, and of course Kevin ‘Doc’ Doherty. Denis loved wine, cooking, and baking. He was the Keith Floyd of Bartlemy. While mam was teaching, dad would have the dinner ready for all of us after school. There was always an extra flair to the dishes which we didn’t appreciate. 

Herbs, spices and sauces would be added wherever possible, and my brothers would often give out and say, ‘Would you leave the stew alone?” One cold wet Wednesday dad made us crème caramel. He was so proud of it. The three of us criticised it, and not one of us ate it. “Never again would he cook for us, ever!”. For a long time afterwards, it was tapioca and semolina for dessert.

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