My father's given name was Finbarr, though he didn't much appreciate it. If you have any connection to County Cork, his name may be enough to tell you that he was as Irish as they get, though as it happens he was born and raised in England, his parents having left Cork not long before, during a difficult time. Wikipedia recounts the history as follows:
In 1920, during a guerrilla war in Ireland which pitted the Volunteers or Irish Republican Army (IRA) against British state forces, the 1920 Government of Ireland Act partitioned the island of Ireland into two separate jurisdictions, Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland. This partition of Ireland was confirmed in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which ended the guerrilla war in the south and created the Irish Free State, an all-but-independent Irish state or Dominion within the Commonwealth...Saint Finbarr (c.550–c.620) was Bishop of Cork in the 6th century and patron saint for the city and diocese of Cork. Again quoting from Wikipedia:
Possibly born near Bandon [birthplace, as it happens, of my paternal great-grandmother, Margaret Kelly], and originally named Lochan, he is said to have studied in County Kilkenny where he was renamed Fionnbharr (Fairhead in Irish) for the colour of his hair. Finbarr is widely believed to have lived at an island hermitage at Gougane Barra, before founding a monastic settlement and centre of learning at an Corcach Mór. This settlement was to eventually grow to become the city of Cork.My dad, known always as Barry, passed away at the age of 78 on this date, March 17, in 2001, following a long decline due to Alzheimer's disease. Having trained as a printer's apprentice in England after a harsh childhood appropriately described as Dickensian, and having flown Martinets, Hurricanes and (at least once) Spitfires as an RAF pilot in the final years of the war, he was eventually moved to take up employment abroad. He worked as a government printer in Tanganyika (where he met and married my mother; they were later divorced) and then Kenya (where my brother and I were born) in the 1950s and early '60s. The family moved to San Francisco in 1964. He was a journeyman printer-proofreader at the Oakland Tribune for many years, and a member of the Typographical Union. He became an avid sailor as an adult, fulfilling a boyhood longing; he sailed his first sailboat, a Laser, on Lake Merced in southern San Francisco for several years, and then graduated to his beloved Santana 22, which was berthed at Berkeley Harbor and which he sailed all over San Francisco Bay.
Varying accounts of Finbarr's life suggest he travelled to Rome, and preached at Barra in Scotland. Finbarr died at Cloyne in Cork and was buried in Gill Abbey -- a site occupied by the present day Church of Ireland Saint Finbarre's Cathedral.
There are several variations on the spelling of Finbarr's name. It will often be spelt as "Finbarre", or as a modern derivation "Finbar" (popular as a masculine name in Cork). Finbar is an Irish name. Catholics and Protestants both recognise St. Finbarr. His feast day is 25 September.
He moved to Northfield after his diagnosis, in about 1995. He lived for about six months upstairs from what was then Crystals & Wolf, in the apartment where Maggie Lee now lives, enjoying a view of the river but tormented by hallucinations caused by the Alzheimer's. As he declined further, he lived at Lindenwood for a number of months and then spent five long years at Three Links, moving further through the stages of his disease.
How he would have loved knowing his seven wonderful grandchildren, the oldest of whom barely remember him and certainly not as he would have wanted to be remembered: a charming, gentle, kind, unfailingly polite, youthful-looking man, an avid reader, a lover of classical music and the San Francisco Giants, with an appreciation for good coffee or a cold beer, and a persistent twinkle in his Irish eyes -- brown-and-green hazel, the same as mine.