Tributes paid to Co Antrim man after Cushendall beach tragedy
TRIBUTES have been paid to a Co Antrim man who died after getting into difficulty swimming in the sea at Cushendall.
Hugh Barry (68), a well-known local cyclist, lost his life after the incident on Saturday evening.
Paramedics, fire-fighters and the coast guard all attended the Co Antrim beach shortly after 6pm. Mr Barry was taken to Antrim Area Hospital, but sadly passed away.
The father-of-two was a retired engineer and an active member of the Glens Cycling Club. It’s understood he had celebrated his birthday last week.
Mr Barry and his bicycle were a regular sight on the roads around Co Antrim, often with his wife Eilis. He recorded and broadcast many of his more scenic journeys on social media and YouTube.
Family friend and fellow club member Elaine O’Boyle described him as “a true gentleman”.
She said the tragedy had left the club in shock and “absolutely devastated”.
“Hugh’s love of cycling and life was infectious to all those that knew and met him. He was an integral part of the club as was Eilis his devoted wife,” she said.
“He was always ready at hand with encouraging words and an infectious laugh.
“Today Glens CC has lost an inspirational member, a gentleman and friend. As a club we extend our condolences to Eilis his wife and daughters Ciara and Eva his granddaughter Fiadh and close family circle.”
Local SDLP councillor Margaret Anne McKillop said the tragedy had left the community in shock and deeply saddened.
She also paid tribute to the efforts of the emergency services.
“I want to pay tribute to the Fire and Rescue Service, the Coastguard and the Ambulance Service who all worked quickly to try to save the man’s life.
“This is terrible news. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this incredibly difficult time."