Tributes paid to ‘formidable Barry Group founder’ James A Barry

Tributes paid to ‘formidable Barry Group founder’ James A Barry

Tributes have been paid to the founder of the Barry Group, one of the leading wholesale groups in Ireland, who died this weekend at the age of 92. James A Barry founded the Barry Group in 1955, the group behind the Quik Pick, Costcutter, and Carry Out franchises in Ireland.

His son Jim is currently the company’s managing director.

Mr Barry was born in Banteer, one of a family of seven of whom his brother Oliver is the sole survivor. His late wife, Pauline, recently deceased, played a strong role in supporting his entrepreneurial spirit.

Mr Barry and his late wife are survived by their children Kevin, Anne, Jim, Paul, Yvonne, Eileen, and Mark.

A statement on the Barry Group’s website read:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our founder James A. Barry. From his early days of founding Barry Group in 1955, James A. was a formidable force in the trade who was respected and cherished by many. Beginning his career selling ice cream, fruit and vegetables to independent retailers across Munster, James A.’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited and was further fuelled as he developed his business with the support of his wife Pauline. As the business developed, James A.’s family supported as many of his children worked in the business and later in life, his grandchildren.”

From humble beginnings

Having worked for a period in England, he returned home and started a fruit and vegetable business in his native village. The Barry name went on to become a force in the Dublin fruit market.

The company’s operations were later moved to Mallow, where a custom-built warehouse and headquarters at Quartertown were built.

“Diligence, perseverance, and integrity” were hallmarks he attributed to his personal and business success, according to Denis Kennedy, company chairman.

‘Life is what you make it’

“James A’s contribution to the trade was acknowledged in many quarters with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Cork New York Association being one he particularly cherished.”

The Barry Group described James A as a “formidable force in the trade who was respected and cherished by many”.

“James A has set a clear legacy for us all; life is what you make it. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve and tirelessly worked towards it and no doubt achieved it.

IFCR extends its condolences to the Barry family.