Former TD Dick Barry praised for his willingness to help out his constituents
Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave among those who came to pay their respects
Dick Barry (second from right) former Fine Gael TD and minister of state seen in 1974. Photograph: Paddy Whelan
Former Fine Gael TD and minister of state Dick Barry who died on Sunday at the age of 93 was yesterday praised for his willingness to help out his constituents irrespective of their political allegiances.
Fr Neilius O’Donnell, a close friend of Mr Barry, told mourners at his funeral Mass at St Patrick’s Church in Fermoy that while Mr Barry held a seat for Fine Gael in east Cork for almost 30 years, he helped everyone.
“Everyone would really say he wasn’t a party politician at all because here in Fermoy and indeed all over the east Cork area Dick would help anyone, no matter who they were. Time and time again I heard that said about him,” said Fr O’Donnell.
First elected in a byelection in Cork East in 1953, Mr Barry was re-elected in the next seven general elections and served as a parliamentary secretary, the equivalent of a minister of state, at the Department of Health in the 1973-77 coalition.
Before he retired in 1981, he had been joined in Dáil Éireann by his daughter Myra when she won a byelection in Cork East in 1979, thus creating a piece of Irish parliamentary history by becoming the only father and daughter to represent the same constituency simultaneously.
Leading the mourners at the concelebrated Mass, led by Fr Aquin Casey, was Mr Barry’s widow, Margaret, and his adult children, Pat, Eleanor, Myra and Michael as well as his grandchildren.
Also present were Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton and her husband, Senator Paul Bradford, as well as parliamentary party chairman Charlie Flanagan, Billy Timmins TD and Seán Kelly MEP.