James Redmond Barry,(1790 -1879), Pre 1820, Glandore and 11 Great Denmark St., Dublin, Fishery Commissioner advocate of fishery development in West Cork, Improving Landlord, Petitioned House of Lords to Vote 1821 as Representative of dormant title of Viscount Buttevant from 1405. 1818 encouraging Flax growing with mother’s assistance, mentions his farm of around 300 acres population 328 of whom one third at linen.  1821 request to Chief Secretary with Rev. Armiger Sealy, John Swete, Thomas Walker that military be sent to Timoleague re Captain Rock disturbances.  1822 Cork Trustee for The Encouraging Industry in Ireland.  1828 Quarter Session Bandon. 1828 seeking reform of the House of Commons. 1832 cholera. Involved with Richard Townsend,  and Thomas Somerville, Drishane in setting up Agricultural and Country Bank in Skibbereen, April 1835.   Subscriber Lewis Topographical Dictionary of Ireland  1837. Attended Reformers Dinner Bandon 1839 for Daniel O’Connell, MP,.  Attending Famine Relief Meeting Dunmanway 1846. Subscriber at Dublin 1861 Rev. Gibson’s History of Cork.  In October 1861 at O’Donovan’s Cove married Anne Mary J 3rd daughter of Timothy J.P. to David Fitzjames Barry, 2nd son to Redmond Barry, Commissioner of Fisheries Esq.  (and a political ally of Timothy).  She is later Executrix of her father’s estate then a widow. Listed 1870, Dublin, 439 acres. Member election committee McCarthy Downing, Skibbereen, 1868.   Son Captain FitzJames Barry, J.P., grandson Richard Fitzwilliam Barry, J.P., solicitor, Clerk of the Crown, King’s Co., listed 1885-6. Left £1,500. Subscriber memorial John O’Hea J.P., Clonakilty, 1847.  Member as James, Bandon, Commission on Magistrates 1838.  attended Reformers Dinner, Bandon, 1839 for Daniel O’Connell, MP.   Petition 1840 on Catholic Equality.  Invitation by Henry Townsend DL, 1839, on behalf of The Reformers of the West Riding of Cork to Daniel O’Connell MP to Dinner in Bandon, Co Cork, with 200 Liberals in attendance including, Francis Bernard Beamish MP (1802-1868), Rickard Deasy (1766-1852) Brewer Clonakilty, James Clugston Allman Distiller Bandon, James Redmond Barry J.P., Commissioner for Fisheries, Edward O’Brien, Masonic Lodge Bandon, John Hurley Brewer, Major E. Broderick, Henry Owen Beecher Townsend (1775-1847), Major Mathew Scott J.P. (1779-1844), Philip Harding, Carrigafooka, Macroom, Richard Dowden (1794-1861) Unitarian, Frances Coppinger Esq., Parkview, Bandon.  1858 member Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society.

His opponent in the 1835 Bandon Election66

Courtesy Leap Village:

The Famine

The Famine struck in 1845 and West Cork was one of the worst affected parts of Ireland, especially Skibbereen and the Mizen Peninsula. One would think that the people living near the coast would be better provided for to meet the ravages of hunger than the inlands parts. However, the fishermen were not sufficiently geared to meet the crisis. It is said that the first death from starvation in West Cork was a fisherman from South reen in Myross. The parish priest of the united parishes of Kilmacabea and Kilfaughnabeg, Fr. Joseph Sheahan wrote many letters to the newspaper during the Famine years, drawing attention to the plight of the people. Fourteen parishioners were waked in the parish on Christmas night, 1846. In a letter published in the Cork Examiner on December, 19th, 1846, Fr. Sheahan wrote that Kilmacabea had no resident landlord and that those in Kilfaughnabeg were “so few, or so incompetent, as to be of no avail. There is one exception, the benevolent family of James Redmond Barry, who are using every possible means which human effort could devise to administer to their distressed and starving fellow creatures”. Over one hundred were given relief every day at Glandore House, whether they belonged to his estate or not. Barry established a soup kitchen in Glandore. In September, 1846, 2500 pounds had been voted for relief work for Kilmacabea which would give employment. The men employed on the making of the roads were too weak for the back-breaking work. Some of them haven’t eaten for several days. The coastal road from Glandore to Leap was the most important project undertaken. It must have been very difficult to construct, most of it quarried out of the rock. Although Fr. Sheahan praised Barry for his efforts to help the needy, the curate, Fr. Walsh, accused Barry of paying very low wages (sixpence per day). In February 1847, H.M.S. Tantarus visited several ports in West Cork, calling first to Glandore. Barry gave an account of conditions in the Glandore area, which was published in the Cork Constitution of 11th March, 1847. “Six months ago the place had 2500 inhabitants; now all have died or run away [emigrated]. Fever, dysentery and starvation stare you everywhere … children of nine or ten years old mistaken for decrepit old women”. In the decade of 1841 – 1851, the population of Glandore town fell from 402 to 131 (70% decrease); Rushanes from 265 to 126 (53% decrease); Gortyowen fell from 54 to 8; Carriglusky 51 to 23. In the Famine years wretched life and hunger came which broke the people’s strenght and spirit. There was nothing to do but to try to stay alive. All fellow feeling was lost. All sport and merriment disappeared. Poetry and singing and dancing were no more. An ancient culture was lost and forgotten and when things improved in other ways, it never came back as it had been. The famine killed everything. In 1847 Ireland was predominantly Irish-speaking outside the cities. Her people were a virile folk, big of body and spirit, exuberant in manner. Their life with their boisterous fairs, the fireside seanchaí, the country dance, the flowing wit and ready song, has lingered in the Gaeltacht up to now. But the Gaeltacht, which covered most of the country side on the Faimne’s eve, shrunk rapidly and a new puritanical, dourer Ireland emerged.

In his book ‘Leap and Glandore; Fact and Folklore’, author Eugene Daly considers James Redmond Barry to be one of the most prominent figures in Glandore’s history.

The philanthropic landlord arrived in the area in 1824, and had the foresight and financial means to build the 136ft long pier in the town, in a bid to develop the local fishing industry.

He also built a hotel and school in Glandore. Unfortunately, all of his efforts to grow the local economy ended up in smoke when the famine hit. West Cork was so badly affected by the famine, that it lost 45pc of its population.