Peadar Barry

1895 – 1966
Secretary of the Down County GAA Board from 1926 to 1957

peadarbarry barryhouse2  barryplaque

Peadar Barry was born on 4th December 1895 on a small farm in the townland of Corrags, just south of Newry. His thirty one years of unbroken service as Secretary to the Gaelic Athletic Association in County Down is a record probably unequalled in the history of the GAA.

For almost half of his lifetime, 1926 – 1957, Barry diligently carried out his unpaid administrative role as Secretary to the Down County Board of the GAA. During that period his trusty pen was the link that kept Cumann Lúthchleas Gael active in Co. Down thus assuring almost sixty clubs of regular participation in Gaelic Games.

Barry represented the Down GAA on the Ulster Council and for over a quarter of a century he was Down’s delegate to Congress.

Away from the demanding administrative role he somehow found time to cycle around the county refereeing Sunday games, travelling as far as the Lecale area, over 30 miles away.

His record of achievement is all the more admirable when it is realised that from his humble cottage at Corrags four miles outside Newry he dealt with the daily challenges of the unpaid role in a thorough and professional manner and all without the benefits of electricity, telephone or motor car.

Peadar Barry also devoted time to his small farm in Corrags and he served the local community as a member of Down County Council and as a member of Newry No. 1 District Council. He also produced and acted at local drama events, contributed to radio and weekly newspapers and on Saturday nights he acted as local barber when his neighbours gathered to get shaved or have a haircut and to exchange and debate the news of the week.

On his retirement in 1957 Barry was honoured with lifetime Presidency of Down GAA and it was in that role in 1960 that he welcomed the Sam Maguire Cup across the border for the very first time.

Peadar Barry died at home on the 12th June 1966.

Location of plaque: 10 Corrags Road, Newry BT34 1ST

Date of unveiling: 4 July 2014