Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Royal Cork Yacht Club Celebrates Return of John ‘The Magnificent’ Smith Barry Painting

24th August 2018
1254 Views
Celebrating the homecoming of the long-lost portrait of John ‘The Magnificent’ Smith Barry were (left to right) Gavin Deane General Manager Royal Cork Victoria Tammadge General Manager Fota House and Gardens Admiral Pat Farnan Royal Cork Anne O'Donoghue CEO Irish Heritage Trust and Dermot Burns Club Archivist, Royal Cork Celebrating the homecoming of the long-lost portrait of John ‘The Magnificent’ Smith Barry were (left to right) Gavin Deane General Manager Royal Cork Victoria Tammadge General Manager Fota House and Gardens Admiral Pat Farnan Royal Cork Anne O'Donoghue CEO Irish Heritage Trust and Dermot Burns Club Archivist, Royal Cork Photo: Bob Bateman

Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour has been celebrating the homecoming of the long-lost portrait of John ‘The Magnificent’ Smith Barry which has been jointly acquired by both Fota House, in collaboration with the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) when it was auctioned at Chiswick’s auction house in London earlier this year.

“We at Fota House & Gardens are delighted to have collaborated with our friends at the RCYC in welcoming home this small but significant painting of John Smith Barry during National Heritage Week”, says Victoria Tammadge, General Manager, Fota House & Gardens. “It is John that we have to thank for giving us the house that we know today as he had a huge impact on Fota House. We look forward to sharing this wonderful piece of Cork’s history at Fota for everyone to enjoy,” she continued. 

John the Magnificent Smith Barry1Admiral Royal Cork Pat Farnan, Anne O'Donoghue CEO Irish Heritage Trust and Dermot Burns Club Archivist Royal Cork Photo: Bob Bateman

John the Magnificent Smith Barry1Dermot Burns Club Archivist Royal Cork, Anne O'Donoghue CEO Irish Heritage Trust Victoria Browne Irish Heritage Trust, and Victoria Tammadge, General Manager Fota House and Gardens Photo: Bob BatemanJohn the Magnificent Smith Barry1 Gavin Deane General Manager of Royal Cork shares a joke with Victoria Tammadge General Manager Fota House and Gardens and Anne O'Donoghue CEO Irish Heritage Trust Photo: Bob Bateman

In the early 1800s, John Smith Barry (1793‐1837) extended Fota House from a hunting lodge with the help of architects Richard & William Morris into the stunning Regency mansion you see today on the magnificent estate on Fota Island. The painting was restored by fine art conservator Justin Laffan and will hang at both Fota House and the RCYC in Crosshaven on an alternate basis.

John was one of five children to his hugely wealthy father James Hugh Smith Barry and mother Ann Tanner (whom James never married). John inherited Fota, however, due to his illegitimate status he could not inherit the title of Earl of Barrymore. John was a very keen sailor and joined the soon to be Royal Cork Yacht Club in 1812. He was made Vice Commodore in August 1833 and Vice Admiral in 1834. His 90-ton yacht Columbine won the King’s Cup at Cowes Week in 1835. In the painting, we can see John in the library of Fota House wearing the RCYC uniform of the time with Columbine in near full-sail in Cork Harbour sporting the RCYC pennant on her main mast.

John the Magnificent Smith Barry1Admiral Pat Farnan, Royal Cork, Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Thomas Maloney and Anne O'Donoghue CEO Irish Trust.

Since 2007, Fota House is owned and managed by the Irish Heritage Trust, an independent charity, and all proceeds are invested back into the upkeep and restoration of the property. Fota House operates guided tours from 10:00 – 17:00 daily (including Sundays and bank holidays). In 2017, Justin Laffan expertly restored five works from the Fota collection and will restore three more paintings live at Fota House during Heritage Week thanks to the Heritage Council’s MSPI Caring for Collections Grant scheme 2018. 

Published in Royal Cork YC
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating