Podcast: Fr. John Barry, Champion Of The Poor by Brendan O Cathaoir
Fr John Barry (1841-1920), a priest of Cashel archdiocese, was a controversial figure. While serving in Canada, he was dismissed by the archbishop of Toronto; on returning to Ireland he was forced to enter Clonmel workhouse. His testament is among the most trenchant accounts we have from an inmate’s perspective of Victorian workhouse conditions. The conclusion of this lecture – based on extensive research – is that Fr Barry was a maverick priest but a holy man.
Dr Brendan O Cathaoir’s books include a biography of the Young Irelander John Blake Dillon; and Famine Diary, based on his weekly column in the Irish Times during 1995-7. In recent years, he has launched the Tipperary Historical Journal and spoken at the Charles Kickham weekend in Mullinahone.