The ceremony, which took place at Lansdowne Football Club in Dublin, brought together some of the leading figures in the Irish magazine industry.
Barry started his career in Ireland on Hot Press magazine before moving to London to write for Melody Maker. He was appointed Editor of Smash Hits in 1986 and went on to become launch Editor of Empire. He has since held a host of high-profile positions for emap, as well as sitting on various industry boards. He has served as the CEO of PPA since February 2010.
Accepting the award, Barry described his desire to work in magazines as a life-long passion, saying, “When I was growing up in Belfast, my only wish was to be a journalist, that’s all I ever wanted. I don’t know where it came from but it’s all I ever desired.”
He then thanked his family and former colleagues who had accompanied him on the night, including former emap CEO Tom Moloney and former Empire Editor Philip Thomas, as well as former FIPP President, Chris Llewellyn. He went on to thank a previous recipient of the Irish Lifetime Achievement award, Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes, for giving him his first break in journalism on Hot Press, back when he was a young aspiring journalist “and the world’s least likely librarian” while working in the Public Library System in his native Belfast.