Tributes are being paid to the much-loved local broadcaster Johnny Barry.
The former firefighter, cinema attendant and longtime advocate of Irish country music has died.
A staple on the airwaves, his show provided not just a platform for both rising and more established talent but also gave company to many in the lonely hours of the night.
As a colleague, he was generous with his time and sharing of experience and advice while he was one of the fastest in the business to take up new technology.
A Mayoral Reception took place in May just ahead of his 80th birthday to which family, friends and fans were invited (you can listen to their tributes below).
A special programme focusing on Johnny featuring many of those who knew and loved him will air this (Friday) afternoon from 4pm to 6pm.
His funeral details have yet to be announced – you’ll find them here when confirmed.
Statement from KCLR
It is with deep sadness that KCLR announces the death of our colleague and friend Johnny Barry.
Johnny died peacefully earlier today 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 some 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.
Hear what guests had to say about Johnny Barry at the special reception for him in May organised by the then Mayor, Cllr Andrew McGuinness: