Tributes paid on death of Gerald Barry


TRIBUTES HAVE been paid to journalist Gerald Barry (63), formerly of RTÉ and the Sunday Tribune,who died in a Dublin hospital yesterday morning after a long illness.

Best known for his interviews with leading politicians on This Week, the Sunday current affairs programme on RTÉ Radio One, Barry first joined the station in 1970. Starting off as a reporter in the newsroom, he became deputy editor of news features in May 1978 and editor in 1982.

It was in an interview with Barry that Garret FitzGerald launched his constitutional crusade for a more liberal society. The full transcript of his in-depth interview with Charles Haughey on a Fianna Fáil leadership heave was published in The Irish Timeson February 7th, 1983.

Later that year he left RTÉ to become deputy editor of the Sunday Tribunewhere he remained until he returned to radio as editor and presenter of This Weekin 1995. He retired in January 2010.

Educated at Belvedere College in Dublin, Barry went on to study economics and politics at UCD.

Managing director of RTÉ news Ed Mulhall said: “Gerald was a superb journalist with a razor-sharp mind, a brilliant memory and a forensic attention to detail, which, combined with his broadcasting skills, led to many ground-breaking interviews over the 40 years we were privileged to have him as a colleague and a friend in the RTÉ newsroom.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said in a statement: “Gerry Barry was one of the outstanding journalists of recent decades with a formidable record in both the print and the broadcast media”.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said he “succeeded in drawing the best from his subjects”.

Irish Timeseditor Geraldine Kennedy said: “I had the greatest respect and admiration for Gerald Barry’s style of journalism. He was always fully informed, incisive, yet he understood politicians and their role in public life.

“He made an enormous contribution to political journalism on this island, North and South, and his weekly programme on RTÉ 1 at lunchtime on Sundays was a must for all interested in politics.

“Apart from his political contribution to the life of the country, Gerry was an endearing person with whom I spent many hours on political assignments at home and abroad. He made an original contribution to political journalism in his life.”

Vincent Browne, who was Barry’s editor at the Sunday Tribune,said: “Everyone who worked with him and who knew him, loved him. Everyone who had any dealings with him when he was political correspondent of the Tribune, if they didn’t love him, they respected him.”