Barrett, Stephen Declan (1913–76), journalist, lawyer, politician, and judge, was born 26 December 1913 in Cork, second of three children of George Barrett, leader-writer for the Cork Examiner and later editor of the Evening Echo, and Alice Mary Barrett (née O'Sullivan). His grandfather was Alderman Joseph Barrett, mayor of Cork (1905, 1906) and he was a first cousin of Evelyn Simcox, wife of Joseph Brennan (qv). Educated at the CBS, Cork (1921–31), UCC (1943–5), and the King's Inns, he was called to the bar in Trinity term 1946. Between September 1931 and 1947 he served on the staff of the Cork Examiner as reporter, sub-editor, and, finally, chief sub-editor and assistant leader-writer. He was also correspondent for the Daily Mail and the Daily Express (1940–47). In 1947 he left journalism to practise as a barrister on the Munster circuit, and entered politics as a Fine Gael alderman on Cork corporation (1950–73), serving as lord mayor in 1961. He held a dáil seat for Cork Borough (1954–69) after two unsuccessful candidatures (1948, 1951). A doughty and able politician, he was particularly outspoken in his criticism of sham and flag-waving. Between 1969 and 1972 he served on the RTÉ authority. Appointed a temporary circuit court judge (November 1973), he was appointed in a permanent capacity for Sligo (February 1974) and was later appointed to Galway. A member of An Taisce and a founder of the Newsboys Club, Cork, he listed among his recreations politics, walking, talking, and writing for pleasure and profit. He was a family man; his unfailing sense of humour, often caustic and sometimes Rabelaisian, was usually marked by a pronounced geniality. His publications included ‘Peering at things’ (a weekly humorous series in the Cork Examiner c.1964–7), many short stories, articles, The almost people (1973), and a one-act play, ‘Credits due’. He died unexpectedly (8 September 1976) in the North Infirmary, Cork.
He married (7 November 1939) Elizabeth, daughter of Michael Magnier, of the Grange, Fermoy, Co. Cork. They had two daughters; Stephanie married Edward Walsh, founding president of the University of Limerick. The family lived at Lucerne, Hettyfield, Douglas Rd, Cork.