A well-known trader at Cork’s English Market has been remembered as a “larger than life character” who was an “integral part of the Market” following his passing.
Ken Barrett, who established The Meat Centre in the Market in 1980, passed away peacefully on Monday in the care of the staff of Ward 3B at Cork University Hospital.
Mr Barrett, of Green Lawn, Kinsale Road and formerly of Mallow, was the beloved husband of Yvonne and loving father to Janice, Danielle, Clodagh and the late Lyndsey.
A trader at the Market for over 40 years, Mr Barrett’s popularity amongst fellow traders and customers alike was immense.
“Ken was the kindest person and a larger than life character at the English Market,” Margo Ann Murphy of The Roughty Foodie told.
“He was great friends with my dad, and my father was there [trading at the English Market] for over 50 years, Michael F Murphy. Our stall is here since the 1960s.”
Ms Murphy said she always enjoyed chatting to Mr Barrett and would walk away from their conversations with a pep in her step.
It is with great sadness The English Market mourns the passing of our Friend, Colleague and Trader, Ken Barrett, The Meat Centre. Ken has been a Trader for the past 42 years. Condolences to all the Barrett family and to his staff and Market family.— The English Market (@EnglishMarket) June 29, 2021
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. pic.twitter.com/6JPj8kpshb
“People came to that stall for the banter and to hear Ken's stories – it was like going to the Opera House!
“It wasn’t just about buying the meat.
“That is what the English Market is all about. That’s what makes us so unique – it’s characters like Ken Barrett,” she added.
Ms Murphy said she was saddened to hear of his passing.
“I never shed a tear for any other man in my life only my father, but I shed a tear for Ken Barrett when I heard he passed away. He will be sadly missed.”
Tom Durcan of Tom Durcan Meats said Mr Barrett was a very hardworking individual who was an “integral part of the Market”.
“He will be sadly missed by all the other traders in the Market and the customers,” he continued.
Former trader at the English Market John Boyling said he was also very sad to hear of Mr Barrett’s passing.
“I called in yesterday to talk to the staff [at The Meat Centre] after I found out he had passed away.
“He will be greatly missed. He was a great character in the English Market.”