Barry’s ‘slight’ against survivors group was the catalyst for coup

THE row that broke out between the founder of Right of Place, Noel Barry, and some of its member finally came to a head last month.

At an EGM held by disgruntled membership on November 14 a new committee was elected.

Mr Barry was not present at the meeting.

In a letter to members, the new committee claimed the former committee “failed to provide members with proper informative correspondence detailing the current climate surrounding survivors of institutional abuse” and believe Mr Barry no longer represents their interests.

According to Patrick Walsh of another survivor group SOCA, at the office of An Taoiseach on the evening of June 3, Mr Barry “very rudely” shouted at Brian Cowen that “the religious orders have contributed enough” as per their contribution set out in the April 2002 indemnity agreement.

This angered his membership and other survivor groups.

He also publicly backed a memorial planned by the Government for survivors. Again this is at odds with many of his membership.

According to sources, this latest slight was the catalyst for the coup in Cork last month.

Mr Barry reacted by seeking and obtaining a High Court injunction barring the new committee from taking over the day to day running of the organisation and entering the group’s HQ in Glanmire, Co Cork.

He claimed before the High Court that he has been threatened by a group of individuals seeking to take over the running of the organisation.

In an affidavit to the court, Mr Barry said he was bringing the action because he had fears that the individuals had access to confidential information about the group’s members who are victims of abuse.

He said he believed the locks on the offices had been changed because when he tried to get access to his office he was unable. He said the individuals in question escorted him to and from the office and locked the door behind him.

His affidavit also said he was on holiday when the meeting to oust him took place. After that meeting a number allegations about him, which he said were untrue, were made.

Mr Barry went on to claim that he found a bread knife stuck in the middle of his desk and that he interpreted this to be a threat to his personal well-being and so approached the gardaí.

An answering affidavit from the four members of the new committee has been lodged in the High Court.

The matter is set to be heard again today, but it is understood it may be adjourned until after the Christmas break.

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