Remarkable life of David Barrett

David Barrett of Killiney Hill Road, who died on Saturday June 18th, was an engineer who had lived and worked at Kisiizi Hospital in south-west Uganda of behalf of St Paul’s since 2001. His funeral service took place in St Paul’s on Thursday, June 23rd, and was followed by burial at Deans Grange Cemetery. We extend our sympathy to his son Ross, daughter in law Yvonne, his extended family Una, Peter, Margaret, Sam, Mervyn, and a wide circle of friends both at home and abroad. 
 David was instrumental in the construction of a new Maternity Ward, Children’s Ward, and a suite of Operating Theatres at Kisiizi, all of which are now used 365 days a year to provide patient care. These facilities have also been a great encouragement to staff, with improved working environments and space compared with the previous structures.
 Construction methods in Uganda are basic.  When the operating theatres were being built (completed in 2011) the only mechanical piece of equipment on site was a concrete vibrator, everything else had to be done by hand.  Despite this, construction standards were higher than those generally deemed acceptable at the time. David was always inventive and creative, finding solutions to problems that others may have deemed insurmountable.  He used local labour and local products if possible, which was a huge boost to the local economy.  He turned his team of local labourers into skilled tradesmen, bricklayers, and carpenters. His ingenuity meant that the money donated by the people of this parish went a lot further and enabled us to provide far more in terms of infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of using a general contractor from Kampala.
 In addition to his engineering input, David also administered an orphan programme, which helped vulnerable children and students, a life-changing scheme for many of them.
 All this was made even more remarkable by the fact that after being thrown from a horse in 1983 he broke his neck and was quadriplegic.  The future looked very bleak until miraculously one day a slight tremor in his left toe was a rarely seen indicator that maybe there was a way back after all.  Over nine months the exceptional care he received at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, combined with his deep spirituality and determination, gradually meant he would eventually walk again, drive a car, and do the most menial tasks once more, even if it meant overcoming some new challenges.
 We are very grateful for all that David did on behalf of St Paul’s at Kisiizi, a place he loved.  His was a remarkable life dedicated to the service of others.
Rev Gary Dowd

David Barrett spent two decades living and working at Kisiizi Hospital in Uganda
St Paul's Church | Glenageary | Co. Dublin