Jack was an Irish Water Safety stalwart

The late Jack Barry.
The late Jack Barry.

THE sad death took place recently of Irish Water Safety veteran John Patrick (Jack) Barry, of Carrickduff, Bunclody. He was 80 years old.

Born on October 9, 1936, to John Barry and Ellen (Nellie) Barry, Jack was the youngest of seven. John was the local postman and Ellen was homemaker to the children.

Jack attended the local primary school and went to secondary school at the Presentation Brothers, Cork and later went to St. Peter's College, Wexford. He enjoyed sports and was a talented Gaelic footballer, playing for the county minor team.

After leaving school, he trained as a ship's radio officer for Marconi and travelled the world on various cargo ships. Jack married Ann Galvin, a primary school teacher and settled down to live in Carrickduff. He held various positions with Bunclody Farmers' Co-op, including managing the flax and strawberry sections. Ann and Jack had two children, Ian born in 1964 and Deirdre born in 1965.

Jack was always involved in community activities and in the early seventies was instrumental in the building of Bunclody swimming pool, as a member of the Bunclody Ameneties group. This project was instigated because of a series of drownings in the local river and ran parallel with Jack's lifelong interest in the Irish Water Safety Association.

In 1974, Jack became manager of Ferrybank Swimming Pool and Caravan Park in Wexford, a job he would hold until his retirement in 1999. From this position, he was influential in the setting up of the current county and national structures of the Irish Water Safety Association. He received many awards for his work in water safety; most notably he was made a Life Governor and was honoured by the President for fifty years of service. Although he died at 80, Jack continued examining classes, assessing beaches and providing valuable services right up until his death.

An avid golfer, Jack's handicap was consistently in low single figures and he was a past member of Bunclody, Coolatin, Boris and Rosslare Strand golf clubs. He also helped set up Bunclody Golfing Society, as well as providing tuition and wisdom to all who requested them.

Jack was a great neighbour and family man, and there are many people who have stories of his kindness, especially in times of crisis. He was especially devoted to the care of his wife, Ann, who has been living in residential care since having a stroke in 2011. A man of great faith, he was a regular visitor to Our Lady's Island and Knock. He was also a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and was very active in this powerful network.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him for his good humour, willingness to help and consistent loyalty. Jack passed away on the 12th of February 2017, after a short illness, exacerbated by a long standing heart condition. He is survived by his wife Ann, son Ian, daughter Deirdre, eldest sister Evelyn, daughter-in-law Marion, son-in-law Robin and grandchildren, Pierce, Aidan, Zacc and Finley. May He Rest in peace.

Wexford People

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