Taoiseach leads tributes to former TD Dick Barry

‘Dick Barry served his constituency and country with great integrity and decency,’ says Kenny


Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday led tributes to former Fine Gael TD and Minister of State Dick Barry, who died at Cork University Hospital on Sunday at the age of 93.

First elected in a byelection in Cork East in 1953, Mr Barry was re-elected in the next seven subsequent general elections before finally stepping down from Dáil Éireann in 1981.

During his career in Dáil Éireann, Mr Barry served as a parliamentary secretary – the equivalent of a minister of state – at the Department of Health in the 1973-77 coalition government.

Yesterday Mr Kenny recalled fondly his own late father’s friendship with Mr Barry as well as his time in the Fine Gael Labour coalition government under Liam Cosgrave.

‘Integrity and decency’
“Throughout his long career as a minister of state and Dáil deputy, Dick Barry served his constituency and country with great integrity and decency,” he said.

“I was very sorry to hear of his death and on a personal level, Dick was a very close friend of my late father and I will remember him with great affection,” he said.

Mr Barry was followed into Dáil Eireann by his daughter Myra when she won a byelection in 1979, and they served together for a period of two years until he retired in 1981.

It is the only occasion in Irish political life since the foundation of the State that a parent and either a son or daughter have represented the same constituency at the same time.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney also paid tribute to the late Mr Barry, describing him as “an enormously influential figure in Fine Gael in Cork”.

Tributes were also paid yesterday by Senator Paul Bradford, who was elected as Fine Gael TD for Cork East in 1989, following in the footsteps of Mr Barry and his daughter, Myra.