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How did Dave Barry trick us all?


Barry is perhaps best known for his leading role in the scout movement in Ireland. He was an almost legendary figure in Cork Scouting and was for many outside the organization of Scouting the public face of the movement in Cork.

One of his former scouts said: “Scouting was his life”.
Another scout, from a different troop, but who became a leader and friend of Barry said, “He was considered a wise owl. “

Barry was synonymous with the 37th Cork, a scouting unit founded in Togher in September 1960, a southern suburb of the city which at the time would have been classified as underprivileged or underprivileged.

A former Boy Scout said 37th Cork was the hangout for generations of young people in the area, especially children who didn’t have a great interest in GAA or football.

Through the efforts of a core of dedicated and dedicated Scout leaders, including Barry, the unit quickly gained a reputation as one of the best organized in the region, winning several regional and national awards.

“For any kid in the late ’70s and’ 80s, there wasn’t much to do there, there were few alternatives lying around street corners,” said the former scout.

“Scouting gave us the opportunity to get involved in other things on winter evenings and weekends, like going on camping trips, building tents, lighting fires, learning life skills. There was a real sense of adventure.

“It has provided this opportunity for young people for generations – it still is.

“There were families in Togher and around Ballyphehane and Glasheen where all the brothers, in some cases up to five brothers from the same family, have joined 37th Cork over the years. This scout room was a hub of activity.

For the vast majority, their stay in 37th Cork was pure innocent fun, joy, adventure and excitement, where they made friends and learned lifelong skills.
For Barry’s victims, their time in the troop has left their lives in ruins.

Barry quickly rose through the ranks, from Scout to Leader in the 37th, where he was involved in planning programs and activities, and later in training leaders.

The former scout remembers him as “a bossy but likeable figure”.

“Everyone knew he was the leader, that he was an influential figure, not only in this unit but in Scouting in general,” he said.

“He exuded authority, but he was not bossy. He was sympathetic. But at the same time, you wouldn’t disrespect him.

A man who is still involved with Scouts today said Barry was extremely respected by senior Scouting officials nationwide, through his work training other Scout leaders, offering help and advice to others on setting up other troops in the city, always striving to do their best for the Scout organization.

“He was greatly appreciated and greatly appreciated,” he said.

“Of course there were personality clashes at the Scout meetings, but it was like that.

“Dave was pretty forceful in his thinking and people weren’t always okay with the way he wanted things to be done, but you got on with it.

In an era before social media, Barry compiled “Boy Scout Notes” for publication in the old Evening Echo for many years, using the platform to showcase the organization, and even its role at the highest level.

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