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10th March 2009

Barry McIntyre

There was widespread sadness throughout the parish and beyond last week with the death of Barry McIntyre, Clooncorrick. Barry was a gentleman and his death at the age of thirty was tragic and unfair and his passing leaves a massive void in the social fabric of our small community. Barry showed exceptional bravery over the last three years as he battled against illness. Dignified to the end, Barry courted no attention, downplaying the seriousness of his condition to his family and friends so as not to cause them additional worry. This concern for others, in particular his loving parents Sean and Mae, typified the man and is one of the reasons why his personality will never be forgotten around Carrigallen and beyond.

Barry was involved in all aspects of the local community. His first love was sport. A GAA fanatic, Baz as he was known by his friends, won championships at schoolboy (1990), U-12 (1990), U-16 (1994) and minor (1996) levels. Barry was a teak tough corner back who showed great awareness to snuff out many a promising move from the opposition. This cuteness allied to great physical strength and speed, ensured Baz was one of the first names on the team sheet every time. While Barry had a keen interest in most sports, GAA was a joint favourite with soccer and Liverpool FC. In the words of Father Ultan Mc Goohan, "Barry was no fair-weather supporter", and there were many long debates in MJ's or Pats, where Barry would staunchly defend the reputation of 'the pool', Roy Evans, Gerard Houllier or Rafa. In May 2005, Barry enjoyed his greatest night as a Liverpool supporter when they won the Champions League against all the odds - he was walking on air for weeks.

In 1995 Barry, along with all his friends got to live the dream of actually playing competitive soccer when we set up our own club, Carrigallen Celtic. This was our opportunity to copy the superstars of the Premiership, without the salaries and the WAGs of course. He remarked to me before Christmas that those long summer evenings of training and then heading off to far flung places in Meath or Louth for Saturday matches were the best days of his life. They were the best days of all our lives. Our offside trap was dodgy and our Leaving Cert preparations were affected but we didn't care. Oasis and Blur on the bus stereo, we couldn't be happier. Barry played left back and was a class act, the only player in the squad to play every minute of every match we played that year. Barry played the game with great enthusiasm, hard but fair and he was the only one of us brave enough to attempt a summersault after scoring a goal!

After sport, Barry's other great love was for the Arts, in particular music and drama. Barry was a musician and singer of real class who loved all types of artists from The Saw Doctors to Pink Floyd to Johnny Cash. For many years Barry entertained us all with his band Slide, who regularly played at all the local functions. Over the last couple of years Barry was a regular at the local Folk Club in Charley Farrelly's. We'll not have the pleasure of hearing Barry singing live again but thanks to his friends, videos of Barry performing can be viewed on youtube - look him up. Barry was always a great supporter of the local Corn Mill Drama group. For years he worked behind the scenes on lighting, sound and set design before treading the boards himself in 2007 in Seamus O'Rourke's play Down. The transition from backstage was a seamless one for Barry who won a best supporting actor award on the festival circuit that year. Not bad going for a rookie.

It was in 2006 that Barry was diagnosed with cancer for the first time. He underwent a major operation and the news was good, the outlook was positive. He got back out and about soon after playing his music and supporting the senior team as they won the Intermediate Championship. In December 2006, Barry was elected secretary of our club. He was a popular appointment and carried out his duties with great dedication right up until the final weeks of his life and it's a great regret that we didn't reward his loyalty with a senior championship. Last year the cancer returned but as mentioned earlier Barry played down the seriousness of it and got on with life. The treatment he received was energy sapping but Barry still played his music in The Folk Club and tried to live as normal a life as possible. Barry's condition worsened considerably at Christmas time and he returned to Sligo General Hospital where he remained until he was moved to the North West Hospice four weeks ago.

At 12pm last Friday, March 6th, Barry passed away. The massive crowds who attended his wake and funeral are a testament to his popularity and character. A beautiful funeral mass was a fitting send off to a true gentleman. To Sean, Mae, Stephen, Andrew, Paul and Edel, we extend our deepest sympathy. You have lost a loyal son and brother; we've all lost a great friend but we'll never lose the memories.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Last Updated: March 27, 2012
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