KCLR has announced the death of their colleague and friend Johnny Barry.
Johnny died peacefully earlier today, Friday, at his home in Kilkenny city.
A native of the city, Johnny had celebrated his 80th birthday in June of this year when he had retired from his weekly Sunday evening slot on the station with a star studded tribute show where his unique contribution to broadcasting as well as to Country and Irish Music was recognised by some of the biggest names in Irish music and many of his thousands of fans.
Since his retirement from his regular programme, Johnny had worked as a Country and Irish Ambassador for the station and had 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 honoured on his retirement by the people of Kilkenny when the then Mayor of Kilkenny Cllr Andrew McGuinness hosted a special reception in his honour to recognise his contribution to Kilkenny life over many years.
A former cinema projectionist and firefighter Johnny had been with KCLR since the beginning in 2004. Before that he also broadcast on pirate station AMS and Radio Kilkenny.
Speaking on the announcement of the sad news, Chief Executive of KCLR John Purcell said:
“Johnny Barry was an absolute legend in Irish radio and all in KCLR along with his many thousands of fans in Kilkenny, Carlow and beyond are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of his sudden passing. He was in the station for a meeting during the past week and in great form, discussing plans for the future. We are comforted by knowing that in June he had the opportunity to hear what he meant to people of all ages from all backgrounds.”
KCLR will be broadcasting special tributes to Johnny in the coming days and fans will be able to leave messages and tributes on the KCLR website.
John Purcell said: “On behalf of all at KCLR, his many friends in the broadcasting and entertainment industry and on behalf of his many 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 will not see his like again. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé.
The funeral arrangements for Johnny Barry will be announced in due course