Kilkenny and Cork mourn Denis Barry late of Callan and Mitchelstown

John Stapleton

Reporter:

John Stapleton

Email:

callannotes@gmail.com

Cork man who made a huge contribution to life in Kilkenny

The late Denis Barry

Denis Barry from the Clonmel Road Callan and originally from Mitchelstown in Cork has left wonderful memories behind  that will be cherished by his family and friends.
The most important thing in his life was his family and loved nothing more to be surrounded by his children, grandchildren and  his beloved Mary.
Life began for Denis on 2nd July 1941 in the Commons, Freemount near Charleville, County Cork.
Even though he had lived away from Freemount for many years it was where he loved to visit whenever he could.
He first attended primary school in Freemount and later for his secondary education he went to the famous hurling nursery of St Coleman’s, Fermoy.
After school Denis joined the Munster and Leinster Bank which became part of what is AIB today.
His first posting was Dunmanway County Cork. Denis loved music and the dances and he lived in an era when the Showbands were at their height and it was at one of those Show Band dances that he met the love of his life, Mary Desmond at a dance in Macroom where Brendan Boyer and the Royal Show Band were playing and it was the Hucklebuck song that they danced to.
They married in 1967 and shortly after Denis as transferred to Wexford town and then later to Gorey. The Barry family came to Callan in 1979 when Denis was appointed Assistant Manager.
Denis was a very outgoing man and was well liked by all. In the early 1980’s Denis went to work for the Canada Life Insurance Company.
He took to the job like a duck to water and became one of the top Insurance Salesmen in the Canada Life organisations. Denis's area was the whole country.
He travelled every byway and laneway. He had a brilliant way with people and with the high standards he carried he won the trust of many.
Even after official retirement Denis liked to continue calling on clients.
He was passionate about sport, politics and religion and debated about all with gusto. His faith was very much part of his life and up to the day he passed away he was a daily mass goer.
Even though Denis was a passionate man about most things in life he was also a very patient person.
All his life this was part of his daily ritual.
He loved a game of cards and was a huge enthusiast of bridge and only in recent times he had gone back to playing Whist.
His passion also spread to music. His youngest Noreen said that he just loved listening to CD’s and radio on a daily basis and as she said: “When he went for his daily rest, sleeping was not his priority, it was just the pleasure of lying there listing to good music on his CD player or the radio”.
As we mentioned earlier he loved debate and the more controversial the better. He had a different opinion on the newer weather formation Ireland tends to get now.
Denis Barry blamed the weather changes and climate change on the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
Two weeks before he passed away Mary and Denis made the annual visit to the home of one of his sons Denis junior outside Edinburgh in Scotland.
Normally they would travel around late August so that they could take in The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
But this year they arranged their trip around the Scottish Golf Open.
Denis wasn’t afraid to just barge in if there was something he wanted and even at the Open he made his way one of the days up to the tee box where Padraig Harrington was preparing to tee off and demanded Padraig’s autograph and got it.
He also met Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose at the same tournament.
The game of golf was one of his great loves and played on a weekly basis until poor health set in.
As referred to earlier he was somewhat a creature of habit and when it came to wearing cloths he just insisted on wearing Navy, despite his families efforts to change him and when it came to food well as long as there was spuds and meat on the plate nothing else mattered.
His house was his castle and loved everything about his home. He loved keeping the grass cut and his hedging was always pristine.
Last thing at night the front gates had to be closed and his daughter Noreen has inherited that trait as no matter what time she is out until the gates have to be closed just like her dad did.
Denis celebrated his 77th birthday on July 2 and for his birthday three of his children Desmond, Noreen and Noelita brought him to the Paul Brady concert at Ballykeeffe.
We have included a photo of that lovely event above.
July 28 is a day the family will never forget and most especially Mary and Noreen. They knew Denis had suffered a heart attack. The response when they called for help was incredible as the Callan Fire service, the Ambulance Service, staff at Callan Dental practice and Michael and Donal Maher all rushed to their house at Clonmel Road in an effort to revive Denis but alas it was in vain despite the efforts of all.
Some of the largest crowds ever to be seen in Callan were witnessed at Denis Barry’s removal from Molloy’s Funeral home, such was his popularity around the country.
Fr Willie Dalton was assisted by Father Willie Purcell during the rosary prayers. He was laid to rest at Kilbride Cemetery on August 1 after requiem mass in the Church of the Assumption which was concelebrated by Parish priest Fr Willie Dalton and assisted by Fr Liam Cassin and accompanied by Callan Parish Choir of which Mary is an active member.
His remains were escorted by a guard of honour from Callan Golf Club of which was an active member for many years.
Denis is survived by his loving family, his wife Mary, sons Denis, Padraig and Desmond, daughters Anna Maria, Noelita and Noreen, grandchildren Jonathan, Annabell, Sanne, Jesse, Harriet and Ethan, brothers John, Dan and Pat, sister Noreen, son-in-law Dave, daughters-in-law Sarah and Martha, Kristen, Adam and John, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and friends. Ar dheis de go raibh anam. Denis Barry’s month’s mind mass will be held on Sunday at 11am Mass at the Church of the Assumption Callan.