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Statement on the death of Joe Barry

Date: Thu 7th Jul, 2022 | 16:16

“It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Joe Barry, a distinguished pioneer and promoter of the importance of public broadcasting in Ireland.  

Joe began a long and distinguished career in RTÉ in 1956 going on to become Director-General in 1992. 

As Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, I had the privilege of regularly engaging with Joe and greatly valued his enormous contribution over those years, which had so many highlights that included the hosting of the Eurovision Contest, setting up the Irish Film Board and the launching of RTÉ radio’s 24 hour service in 1999 and Lyric FM.

His invaluable stewardship of the establishment of TG4, then Teilifís na Gaeilge, in Baile na hAbhann in 1994 was a seminal moment in Irish public broadcasting and brought a new energy, respect and creativity to the Irish language as well as creating employment for a whole new generation of Irish speakers who have made a vital and energising contribution to Irish broadcasting.

On behalf of Sabina and myself, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Joe’s wife Aileen and his family, and to all his friends and colleagues.

Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal.”