Aidan G. Barry

 

Aidan Barry left this life at the tragically young age of 47, after a short but bravely borne illness.

Affectionately known as Aid or Aido to friends and family, he was born in Cobh and first came to prominence as a talented young player in the Munster tennis scene. He also developed passions for golf and sailing which remained with him throughout his life. Having qualified as a chartered accountant with the Cork firm of Touche Ross, he moved to Dublin in the early 1970s and in a short time progressed to the position of financial controller in the well known firm of Tennant & Ruttle.

In time, however, his sense of independence and his desire to make his mark prompted him to go into public practice and in 1980 the firm of O'Hare Barry & Associates was born. It enjoyed great success in the 1980s due in no small part to the teamwork and camaraderie which Aidan inspired and for which the firm was well known. His personal charisma was enormous, his enthusiasm infectious and he managed to bring excitement and a sense of "something happening" to everything with which he was involved. Aidan's personal rise in Irish business circles was swift and he soon gained a formidable profile as a deal-maker, problem solver and company doctor for businesses in difficulty, many of them high-profile. The great and the good sought his advice and his reputation and corporate finance expertise led to directorships in a number of well-known State and private enterprises.

Aidan was happiest, however, helping those who could not pay. Those who needed a foothold in life and those who had lost their footing came to him and the phrase, "No problem - I'll sort that out", was synonymous with him. He was blessed with a genuinely honest and good heart and loved to help those in difficulties, both personal and business, and was one of that rare, selfless breed who give with little thought of receiving. He was equally at home socialising with those who had little and those who had everything. Despite the complexity of the man, however, he retained a boyhood innocence and charm and liked nothing more than to be at the centre of a harmless prank, particularly if the hapless victim was someone he felt took himself too seriously.

Aidan's cheerful demeanour throughout the undeserved health and business setbacks which he suffered in the early 1990s was characteristic of the man. The final years of his life were marked by a steady re-emergence on the business scene but, much more importantly, were known to be some of his happiest years on a personal front, culminating in his marriage to Cathy only a year ago. Aidan came from a close and loving family and his devotion to his parents and four sisters and his concern for their welfare was a constant and daily feature of his life. The vast throngs of mourners who attended the funeral services last July in Dublin and his beloved Cobh, public faces and private citizens alike, brought it home to those closest to him just how many lives he touched for the better during his own short life. Aidan's wife and family have suffered an immeasurable loss but will be heartened to know that his unique spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of his many friends.

On behalf of the many who didn't get the opportunity, I would simply like to say: "Thanks, Aidan, for making a difference - it's been a privilege. Farewell for a while until we meet again." B.B