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Friday 19 January 2018

joker and a straight talker

Tom Barry is a straight-talking, first-time TD who has never been far from controversy since he entered the Dail.

The 44-year-old annoyed Labour by condemning the plans of Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to include farm assets in the means test for student grants. He said that Mr Quinn was running his department like a "Communist state" and that most Labour members wouldn't know what the inside of a church looked like.

He tangled also with Independent TD Mick Wallace by calling for the director of corporate enforcement to investigate his role as a director of the M&J Wallace construction company when it agreed a €2.1m tax settlement with the Revenue.

He was elected as a member of Cork County Council in 2009 and got into the Dail at his first attempt in the 2011 general election. He lives in Killavullen near Mallow.

He is a biochemist by profession. He went to college in UCC, Cork, where his wife Dr Kathy Quane is a lecturer. He was the target of death threats over budgetary cuts to health and social welfare spending.

Married with three children, he has described himself as someone who likes fooling around, but few have seen the funny side of his his Dail antics.

Irish Independent

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