Tributes are paid to much-loved local broadcaster Johnny Barry.
The former firefighter, cinema attendant and longtime supporter of Irish country music has died.
A staple on the airwaves, his show not only provided a platform for emerging and more established talent, but also gave many people company during the lonely hours of the night.
As a colleague, he was generous with his time and shared his experience and advice as he was one of the fastest adopters of new technologies in the industry.
A mayor’s reception was held in May just before his 80th birthday to which family, friends and fans were invited (you can listen to their tributes below).
Statement from KCLR
It is with deep sadness that KCLR announces the passing of our colleague and friend Johnny Barry.
Johnny died peacefully earlier today at his home in Kilkenny city.
A native of town, Johnny had celebrated his 80th birthday in June this year when he stepped back from his weekly Sunday night slot on the station with a star-studded tribute show where his unique contribution to broadcasting as well as country and Irish Music has been recognized by some of the biggest names in Irish music and some of its thousands of fans.
Since retiring from his regular schedule, Johnny had worked as a Country and Irish Ambassador for the station and also broadcast a special all-Ireland edition of the hugely popular Johnny Barry Show, a show that would prove to be his last on the station. .
Johnny had also been honored on his retirement by the people of Kilkenny when the then Mayor of Kilkenny, Andrew McGuinness, held a special reception in his honor to recognize his contribution to the life of Kilkenny over many years.
Johnny, a former cinema projectionist and firefighter, was with KCLR from the start in 2004. Before that he also broadcast on pirate station AMS and Radio Kilkenny.
Speaking on the sad news, KCLR Chief Executive John Purcell said; “Johnny Barry was an absolute legend of Irish radio and all at KCLR and his thousands of fans in Kilkenny, Carlow and beyond are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of his sudden passing. He was at the station for a meeting last week and in great shape discussing plans for the future. We are heartened to know that in June he had the opportunity to hear what he meant to people of all ages and walks of life. .
KCLR will be streaming special tributes to Johnny in the coming days, and fans can leave messages and tributes on KCLR’s website.
John Purcell said; “On behalf of everyone at KCLR, his many friends in the broadcast and entertainment industry and on behalf of his thousands of fans and I would like to express our sincere sympathy to Johnny’s brother Kevin, his sister Mary and his nieces and nephews. We shall never see his equal again. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé.
Funeral arrangements for Johnny Barry will be announced in due course.
Reception at the town hall
Hear what guests had to say about Johnny Barry at the special reception for him in May hosted by then-Mayor Cllr Andrew McGuinness: