Irish tennis mourns the passing of a true legend of the sport

Dr. Harry Barniville   

(20th January 1927 – 20th February 2013)

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of accomplished player, administrator and former Irish Davis Cup Captain, Dr. Harry Barniville who died peacefully on Wednesday 20th February 2013.

A former international tennis player, Harry represented Ireland as recently as 2005 when he was a member of an Irish team which travelled to the World Championships in Turkey.  He topped the Irish senior rankings consistently in the 1950’s and early 1960’s and won most if not all of the major domestic championships in that era.

Harry’s passion for tennis was clear to anyone who knew him. Through the 1980’s and 1990’s he made a huge contribution to the development of the junior game in Ireland when he set about mentoring a group of talented young players and formed the “Barniville Babes”. Amongst the players who took part in his now legendary annual trips to the leading UK junior tournaments over a 27 year period were former international players Karen Nugent, Scott Barron, Eoin Collins, Dave O’Connell, James McGee & Rachael Dillon.

He was a former President of Lansdowne and Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Clubs. He sat on the General Council of the Irish Lawn Tennis Association (now Tennis Ireland) and also on the Leinster Branch. Speaking on his passing Chief Executive Des Allen said “I knew Harry well for nearly twenty years. His enormous contribution to the development of our sport is beyond dispute and well documented. However, I will always remember him as one of the most pleasant, engaging and decent of men I have met through Tennis. The entire Irish Tennis community will miss him greatly.”

A gentleman, a family man and a great sportsman.

Ar dheis Dé a anam dílis.