'Limerick legend' Barney Sheehan to be remembered in city

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts



'Limerick legend' Barney Sheehan to be remembered in city

Barney Sheehan riding an elephant at the St Patrick's day parade in 1998 Pictures: Adrian Butler

POETRY compere Barney Sheehan is to be laid to rest following Mass in Limerick city this Wednesday.

The popular literary figure, who passed away over the weekend, will also be remembered later that day by two events celebrating his life and times.

His funeral will take place this Wednesday at 11am in Our Lady of the Rosary Church at the Ennis Road. He will lie in repose at Thompson’s Funeral Home this Tuesday night between 6pm and 8pm.

Tributes have continued to pour in for the Greystones man, who passed away aged 84 on Saturday, and was known across the city for revitalising poetry reading sessions in the White House.

It is his former haunt on Glentworth Street which will host a special reception in his memory from 6pm this Wednesday, organised by his friends Kora Peters and Nicky Woulfe.

All are welcome, with the staff at the bar erecting pictures of a man they describe as “a local legend”.

Then later, at 9pm, Limerick’s poetry community will hold their regular Wednesday night revival session in Brendan O’Brien’s pub at Roches Street, with pieces to be read in Barney's memory.

Dominic Taylor, who ran the Limerick Writers Centre, said that while many of Barney’s contemporaries saw their work in print, he didn’t – and plans are in place to perhaps bring out his own collection.

“I can say, only for Barney and the White House, I would not have gone on to become part of the Limerick Writers’ Centre and our own readings, publishing and events which emerged from all that Barney inaugurated back in April 2003,” he explained.​

Darragh Roche, who succeeded Tom McCarthy and Barney in running the weekly poetry revival sessions, said: “The Limerick Poets’ Society wouldn’t exist without Barney Sheehan. We carry on his legacy every week because he believed in giving everyone a chance to be a poet.

"We are all so grateful Barney for giving the best years of his life to this cause.”

He confirmed the poet’s society will be organising “a fitting memorial” to Barney in the near future, with tributes initially being paid this Wednesday evening.

Barney, who will be laid to rest in Nenagh, is a brother to the late Betty Clancy, and is deeply regretted by his nephew Jack, niece Mary Mc Namara, brother-in-law John, grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives, neighbours, and his many friends.