Monday, May 05, 2014

BFW

My best friend Barney Walsh died yesterday. He was a few weeks shy of his 49th birthday. It was sudden, unexpected, and has broken the hearts of all of us at Irish Fest who knew and loved Barney and were lucky enough to call him a friend.

Barney has been with Irish Fest since the early days, founding and heading up the late Site Host committee with his beautiful wife Sarah before joining the board of directors and eventually rising to the presidency in 2012. He did everything at Irish Fest, and I mean everything. And he did it all well, passionately and tirelessly. I'll be honest with you, I can't come close to imagining how we do this without him. Right now, I'm not sure I even want to try.

But of course it isn't his Irish Fest resume, impeccable as it was, that makes this loss so devastating for those of us left behind. It's the man Barney was. The warmest, kindest, most caring, most selfless and giving man I've ever known. We sat together, the two of us, just last Thursday night, as we had on many, many other Thursday nights, drinking beer, talking about work, kids, wives, the Royals and of course Irish Fest. He made me laugh, as he always did. He made me think, as he always did. And when we called it a night, I thought, as I always did, that we had hundreds of Thursday nights and thousands of great conversations still to come. And then just like that, on a sunny Sunday morning, Barney was taken from us. From Sarah, his wonderful son Seamus, his brothers and sisters, his family, his friends. The brilliantly bright and always steady light that was Barney Walsh went out, just like that.

And our hearts are broken.

21 comments:

Susan said...

From all of us with Thunder on the Plains, our deepest condolences.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Rest in Peace, Barney. He was an amazing guy. My sympathies, Sarah. My heart breaks for you.

Jenny Krizman

Maggie said...

♥ I'm so sorry Dan. Heartbroken are we all. Love you to pieces.

Kathryn Barefoot said...

Dan, this is so sad. Thoughts, prayers and love sent to Barney's family and to the Kansas City Irish Fest family.
Kate Flanagan Barefoot
Great American Irish Festival

Liz O'Boyle said...

We are all so devastated losing such a great soul... I just can't imagine your pain Dan... My prayers are with you and Sarah and all that were such great family to Barney. May he rest in peace..

Anonymous said...

Well said Dan. Barney was my fraternity brother at Creighton. God broke the mold after he made Barney. We were all blessed to be his friend.

Joe O'Flaherty

Milwaukee Irish Fest Hot News said...

So sad to hear about the passing of Barney. God Bless and safe Home Barney.

Mark @ Milwaukee Irish Fest

Colin Grant said...

sad to hear this news, our thoughts are with the KCIF family and friends.

Kerry & John said...

Danny-You have an amazing way of giving life to words. This is a beautiful tribute to Barney. We are so sorry that you, and all, have to feel such unbearable pain!
Kerry Browne & John McClain

Jim Cosgrove said...

Right on, Danny! As good as they get. Thank you for sharing your love. Peace to you.

Gallagher said...

So very sorry for you, for all.

Joe Flanagin said...

On behalf of the Padraig Pearse Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, May he rest in peace and perpetual light shine upon him.

Mary Yeaple said...

Very sorry for your loss. What a touching tribute.

Mary Yeaple
Penn-Mar Irish Festival

Anonymous said...

The entire Burke families pray for you Sarah and Seamus...may God Bless you and give you strength and faith during this most difficult time.

Kathie Conwell said...

Barney was one of the first people I met when I started volunteering at the fest. He was such a good man. Prayers are raised for comfort and strength for his dear family.

Martha said...

Barney was one of the good guys. Even the floodwaters of the first Irish Fest couldn't drown his spirits. Safe home.

Martha Kiley

Henry said...

I am so deeply saddened to read this. My brief exposure to Barney was in the old Site Host days, and I was not surprised to see him lead KCIF.

Sincere condolences to you Dan, to Irish Fest, and to Sarah and Family.

Henry said...

I am so deeply saddened to read this. My brief exposure to Barney was in the old Site Host days, and I was not surprised to see him lead KCIF.

Sincere condolences to you Dan, to Irish Fest, and to Sarah and Family.

Erin said...

gorgeous tribute danny. especially the song.

From all of us at Indy Irish Fest, we are thinking of you guys, and Barney's family and friends.

Sending lots of love and prayers,

Erin and Indy Irish Fest

Megan Mott said...

“Gone. The saddest word in the language. In any language.”


― Mark Slouka, God's Fool

Kathleen Dalton said...

Barney had the great talent of making everyone welcome encouraging one to be part of something bigger and better. His bright and steady light will be so missed!