Eileen Ward is doing her best to come to terms with the death of her son Barry (48) from Covid
BARRY Ward (48) from Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, contracted Covid-19 while living on the island of Negros in the Philippines.
He had attended Carrigallen National school and was a prominent member of Ballinamore Athletic Club (AC) during the 1980s.
He won his first All-Ireland medal in the Community Games as a determined 10-year-old and followed up by winning the gold two years later at under-12 level.
He later attended St Patrick’s College, Cavan, where he won athletic and squash titles and played GAA.
Mr Ward moved to England to study law, but a keen interest in computers turned from a hobby into a career after he graduated with a master’s degree in computer science from London South Bank University.
His mother, Eileen Ward, had been a key member of Ballinamore AC Committee for many years prior to her retirement from teaching in Carrigallen. She was also a prominent and award-winning member of Carrigallen Corn Mill Theatre Group.
She told gaa.ie that taking part in the Irish Life GAA Healthy Club Steps was therapeutic as she worked through the grief of her son’s passing.
“That's the time you think an awful lot, when you’re out walking,” said Ms Ward. “I'd chat a lot with him when I was walking. It was very therapeutic to be out walking.
“I've kept a small bit of his ashes and I say good night to him every night. I've a light lit for him and he's always included in anything we talk about here.
“He was not interested in the financial end of things at all – Barry was a very giving sort of person.”
She added: “I think everybody's thinking has now become simpler because of Covid. We'll be happy with less, I think, which was always Barry’s mindset.”
Barry is predeceased by his father Brendan. He is sadly missed by his mother Eileen, his brothers Manus, Emmet and Pearse, his sisters-in-law Majella and Lorraine, his nieces Ella, Kiera and Lexie, his relatives and many friends.