TRIBUTES poured in to the members of the Barry family, including Deirdre Clune MEP, on the death of her father Peter Barry, last week.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was among those who expressed condolences with the family of the former deputy leader of Fine Gael, who passed away in Cork on Friday.
‘It is with very deep regret that I confirm the death of former Tánaiste, Minister and Deputy Leader of Fine Gael, Peter Barry who passed away peacefully in Cork this morning surrounded by his family,’ the Taoiseach said.
‘Throughout his long and distinguished political career, Peter gave outstanding service to his country and to his native city. In particular, his central and pivotal role in negotiating the Anglo Irish Agreement in 1985 helped to create the foundations on which the peace process in Northern Ireland was built.’
President Higgins said it was with great sadness that he learned of Mr Barry’s death. ‘He, who will be remembered by all who served in the Dáil with him, and indeed by the wider political community, for his great courtesy. His view of Irish history was a long one and he brought all that wisdom to bear in his contributions to achieving the Anglo Irish Agreement of 1985.’
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said that Mr Barry left behind a truly extraordinary legacy, ‘playing not only a formative role in the development of Cork but also on the international stage, as one of the key architects of the Anglo-Irish agreement.’
His contribution to public service was far-reaching and he will be sadly missed by all in political life and beyond who had the pleasure of knowing him, he said.
His friend and former neighbour, Housing Minister Simon Coveney said that Peter Barry left behind a legacy of strong, honest politics. ‘His contribution to Cork and to Ireland at very challenging times, both economically and politically, will be favourably remembered. For my part, the Barry family were largely responsible for our family entering politics in the early 1980s. He will be of course be missed by his family and those close to him, and from a Fine Gael perspective as one of the most significant figures in modern Irish history,’ he said.
Fianna Fáil Leader and TD for Cork South Central Micheál Martin also paid tribute to former Tánaiste Peter Barry. ‘A distinguished Minister in a number of government departments including Transport and Education, he will of course be best remembered for his stewardship of the Department of Foreign Affairs and his role in negotiating the Anglo Irish Agreement.
‘At a time of great violence and uncertainty, his role in helping to chart a way forward was critical and his contribution will stand the test of time. On my own and my party’s behalf, I offer his daughter Deirdre and his entire family circle our deepest sympathy,’ he added.