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Dublin stage school founder Billie Barry dies

Barry founded the all-singing all-dancing troupe in 1964.

Barry pictured in 1998.
Barry pictured in 1998.
Image: Photocall Ireland

STAGE SCHOOL FOUNDER and Dublin icon Billie Barry has died.

Barry’s family has confirmed that she passed away peacefully at a Dublin nursing home this morning.

The stage school was founded in Clontarf in 1964, with Barry building on the experience of coming from a musical family.

It started out with 36 students but within months it became association with the Gaiety’s Christmas pantomime – a tradition with still exists today.

The school also quickly struck up a relationship with The Late Late Show, with Billie Barry Kids still appearing on the Toy Show each year.

Barry’s daughter Lorraine now runs the stage school. She began training there at the age of three and now oversees hundreds of new students each year. Her mother retired in 1998.

Samantha Mumba's first appearance on the Late Late Show Source: RTÉ - Ireland's National Television and Radio Broadcaster

Tributes to Barry are pouring in following the news of her death.

The Billie Barry Stage School is due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, with a run of performances planned for late October.

Four weeks until showtime and we're right on ... Source: Facebook

Did you see Samantha Mumba as a 12-year-old on the Late Late Show?

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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