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A proud moment for Tess Barry, when as chairperson of Shannon Tidy Towns, she lifted the trophy for winners of the most improved Town award. Also pictured are then Mayor of Clare, Flan Garvey, Mayor of Shannon, Tony McMahon and councillor Patricia Mc Carthy at the presentation. Photograph by John Kelly.

Shannon mourns the passing of a true commuity champion

SHANNON is mourning the passing of a true community champion after Tess Barry was laid to rest recently.

Following the funeral Canon Brendan O’Donoghue said that almost as soon as he came to Shannon he became aware of her place in the community.

“I remember when I came to Shannon 33 years ago, I was a new parish priest. I moved into Boyne Park and I couldn’t get over the reaction there from the people.

“They were all lamenting the fact that a lady named Tess Barry, one of the residents, had moved to Fearnóg. I didn’t know who Tess Barry was at the time but it didn’t take me long to find out!”

He said that Tess had made a huge contribution to the town.

“She was in Shannon for many years and got involved in every sort of organisation. The Tidy Towns, the Senior Citizens, the Apostolic Work, the ICA, the Society of Care, were all organisations she was involved in.”

Canon O’Donoghue also said she was very selfless and had great capacity for community work. “She was a very energetic person, anything that was on she was part of, whether she had other things on or not.”

Pauline Cronin is assistant chairperson of the Shannon Senior Citizen’s Club and she said that Tess had made a great contribution to it.

“Tess was a founder member of the club. Herself, Tom Moore and Mary Moran came together to buy the house in Purcell Park. Before that it had been in the flats in the Town Centre.

“They actually acted as guarantors, they put their own houses down to buy the house at 9 Purcell Park.”

She said that Tess had a great personality, as well as being very selfless. “She was a lady, she was very soft spoken and she did everything she could for the community, got involved with everything.

“With the Tidy Towns she was always out doing things, she couldn’t do enough for people. Tess was a wonderful woman.”

Tess was originally from Milltown, Castlemaine, Co Kerry and was predeceased by her husband Pat. She is survived by a brother and a sister, her three sons, two daughters-in-law and her two grandsons.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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