Meet the Committee | Barry Donnelly


Meet our Committee Members!

The purpose of the Irish in BC is to engage, connect and support Irish individuals, organizations and businesses within the Province of BC and assist them in fostering a more vibrant sense of community and of Irish identity. This will be achieved, primarily, by delivering on a proven digital communications strategy.

We thought it was about time we introduce you to some of the wonderful people behind-the-scenes of our non-profit so you can get to know us more!

Up first is Barry Donnelly, one of the original members of Irish in BC. We sat down with Barry and asked him some personal questions so you can get to know him more!

Where are you from?

I hail from Drogheda (Drawda), Co. Louth. Fun fact, it’s the largest town in Ireland!

My partner, Amy and I arrived in Vancouver in January, 2016. We are permanent residents and starting the process of applying for our citizenship. 

Where’s your favourite place in BC?

There are so many beautiful places here in BC and the one that always comes straight to mind is Ucluelet. While Tofino gets a lot of the attention on the West Coast of the island, I was blown away by the beauty which awaits while taking in the wild pacific way.

Why do you volunteer with Irish in BC?

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, there were so many questions and uncertainly around everything that was going on. Myself, along with many other members of the community reached out to Eilis Courtney (Irish Women’s Network of BC), to see if there was a way in which we could support the Irish community through this difficult period.

After meeting daily for a number of weeks, the Irish Covid-19 support group was formed and it’s aim was to identify what useful information could be shared amongst the Irish community, supporting community members who lost their jobs or who were having thoughts about whether or not they should return to Ireland. One of the main outcomes of this was then creation of the weekly Irish in BC newsletter. 

As we begin the post-covid recovery, our goal is to continue to support the Irish community, Irish organizations and businesses throughout BC.

What is your favourite event?

While all events went virtual one of my favourite events to take place during this time was virtual quiz nights. It was so much fun and it was great way for people to interact and have some fun at a time when things were fairly uncertain.

Now that events are back it was amazing to be  able to enjoy all that Celticfest had to offer. It was such an amazing lineup over st Patrick’s weekend. To be able to showcase all the best of irish music and dancing in the heart of Vancouver was truly wonderful. congratulations to all involved for a very successful and fun event. I can’t wait for next year already🇮🇪☘️

Any hobbies or interests?

In 2018, a good friend of mine convinced me to start running. So I gave that a go and four years on I’ll admit that I’m hooked. While trying to not collapse while running around false creek, we decided it could be a good idea to set up a running group whose aim was to encourage people to meet twice a week and run around the beautiful sights of Vancouver. Vancouver Irish Running Crew was formed and we have an amazing bunch of members who are so supportive and encouraging to all members. Some fun stuff!

Favourite drink?

Oh that’s a tough one, with so many craft beer options it’s very hard to pick a favourite. At the moment, I’m really enjoying the Trailbreaker IPA from Backcountry Brewing. This is really quenching my thirst at the moment.

Favourite food?

In the Winter time, I would vote for Amy’s Irish stew is so hearty and perfect for those miserable rainy days. In the summer time, I would have to say my homemade beef burgers 🍔

Favourite Irish snack?

I recently received a care package from a friend in Ireland and it had some packets of meanies in it. It has been so long since I had a packet and they were just so tasty!

Barry Donnelly