Castleknock College Union

Surgeon Henry L. Barniville

1887 - 1960

Sep 23, 1960
Surgeon Henry L. Barniville -

IT is with deep regret that we record in these pages the death of Surgeon Henry L. Barniville which occurred last September. With his passing the Vincentian Community in Ireland and Castleknock in particular has lost a greatly valued friend. His association and friendship with the Vins extended over a long period of years. He used to tell us how the Vincentian Training College, at that time in Hammersmith, was for him a home from home during his post-graduate days in London. He renewed acquaintance with the Vins when he returned to Dublin and thereafter he was a regular visitor to Castleknock. The College and all it stood for became one of his unashamed loyalties and it is true to say that Castleknock functions had top priority in the social engagements of Surgeon and Mrs. Barniville.

While he was a regular visitor Surgeon Barniville also proved himself a very good friend of Castleknock. It was our good fortune to have him for many years, indeed during the term of office of about seven Presidents, as consulting surgeon to the College. How often during that period he came to our assistance in times of crisis! A serious accident or acute illness that required surgical treatment would mean an urgent phone call to No. 9. What a relief it was to get the reassuring message " Barney will be along as soon as ever he can make it." It is easy to take these things for granted. The fact was, however, that we had at our disposal, and still more important, at the disposal of the boys for whom we were responsible, the immediate attention of one of the leading surgeons of the day. Many past students will recall these incidents and say a prayer in gratitude.

Surgeon Barniville also showed his regard for Castleknock in another way, perhaps the real test of loyalty where a college is concerned. He entrusted to us the education of his two sons, Sean and Harry. This formed another link with the Barniville family and the happy relationship now continues in another generation as both boys are so closely associated with College and Union activities.

We offer our sincere sympathy to Mrs. Barniville, June, Sean and Harry in their bereavement. But while we mourn our friend we like to recall his memory. He was a man of outstanding ability, an acknowledged leader in his profession and he took a prominent part in the formation of our new independent State. For many years he was Professor of Surgery in University College, Dublin. His University held him in such high regard that its graduates continued for a period of about forty years to elect him as their representative in Seanad Eireann and on the various bodies controlling the National University. In company his fine appearance and engaging manner always attracted interest and attention. However, he was happiest in his home where he was an exemplary husband and father. Neither must we forget that while he numbered amongst his patients the most important people in the country he was, as the Sisters will testify, equally attentive to the afflicted poor in the Mater Hospital. A life such as this has an assured reward. May he rest in peace.