A SKIBBEREEN man is running the London marathon this month inspired by his nephew who was born with an upper limb difference.
Brian Barry is taking on the challenge spurred on by godson Eoghan Barry (19) whose right arm stops a couple of inches below his elbow, but who has never let it hold him back.
His proud uncle says Eoghan’s determination motivated him to run to raise funds for Reach.org.uk, a charity that supports children and families who have an upper limb difference across the UK and Ireland.
Brian grew up Kilkilleen, Church Cross and moved to London in 2003 to take on hotel management roles and he managed the famous Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood in London for 10 years.
‘The running I did in these days was around the hotel on busy days ensuring all were welcomed and looked after, quite different to my marathon experience ahead!’ he said.
Brian, his wife Naomi and their son Sebastian relocated to her native Canterbury in 2013 and he now commutes to London daily for his work in property management.
He only took up running when Covid hit and took to it instantly.
‘I was working from home and Naomi and I went for a run one day in the woods near us. Naomi being used to running was giving me a pep talk to take it easy before we started and ease into it, but I surprisingly took off and met her at the end and got a great sense of enjoyment from it,’ said Brian.
Eoghan is from the same parish as 2016 Olympic heroes Gary and Paul O’Donovan, and used to row avidly.
A few years back he appeared on the RTÉ series, Big Little Fix, a show that challenged a group of leading designers, engineers, computer programmers and technology experts to create inventions that will transform people’s lives. Dr David McKeown was tasked with creating a rowing arm and a system for Eoghan’s boat that would allow the Skibbereen rower compete.
‘Eoghan is my inspiration to do this race and raise money so the charity can support families. His difference does not hinder him in any way and he has completed more tasks in life than I could,’ he said.
The marathon takes place on April 23rd and Brian has thanked everyone for their support. See ‘2023tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/brian-de-barra’ for more.