Barry sings his way to the final
Enniscorthy singer shows grit and spirit to overcome adversity in music singing career
An Enniscorthy entertainer who is now living in Cork has proven his worth as a singer after winning his way through to the final of this year's Ireland's Got Talent show on Virgin Media One (formerly known as TV3).
Barry Darcy (38), who grew up and went to school in Enniscorthy, has been singing since childhood and spent 10 years as an Elvis impersonator.
He also represented Ireland at the world Karaoke Championships in 2014.
While Elvis is one of his biggest influences he is also inspired by the likes of Roy Orbison, Tom Jones and Joe Dolan.
A supervisor in a meat processing plant Barry has been living in Cork for around 10 years. He is married and has two sons.
On the show, over the weekend, Barry did a rousing version of the Elvis classic, 'The Wonder of You' which had the entire audience singing along.
He obviously impressed Louis Walsh who said on the show that Barry had the 'wow' factor.
'You were brilliant,' said the music mogul.
'You deserve it; I loved everything about it.'
Fellow judge, Denise Van Outen, commented: 'To hear you speak before you performed and to hear your story, meant that when you did sing it meant so much more.'
She was referring to how Barry's music career almost came to an end six years ago when he awoke one morning to find he had no feelings in his legs.
A herniated disc in his back was putting pressure on nerves and he was paralysed from the waist down.
Despite undergoing surgery his disability remained but as luck would have it a consultant from the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dublin saw him singing at a fundraising event and secured him a place in the centre.
With only a 50 per cent chance of success Barry resolved to overcome his difficulties and following an intense five-month programme he managed to walk again.
Speaking on Ireland AM he said that given a 50-50 chance for him meant he had a 50 per cent chance of getting up [and walking] again.
He also said his wife and children are the 'motivation' for everything he does.
His entry into the competition came about as a result of both he and his wife sending in a video without telling each other.
'This whole thing was a journey for all of us,' he said.
'Elation isn't really the right word for it,' he added.
'It was a happy ending to the story.'
Commenting on his success on the programme to-date Barry said: 'I see Ireland's Got Talent as an opportunity for me and my family to have a good life.'
He also expressed hope that his story will inspire others to never give up on their dreams.