Barniville, Henry Leo (‘Harry’ or ‘Barney’) (1887–1960), surgeon and senator, was born in Belfast 10 April 1887, fourth son of John Barniville, DL, of Co. Tipperary and Mary Barniville (née Bourke) of Co. Galway. Educated at St Malachy's College, Belfast; Rockwell College, Co. Tipperary; the Catholic University medical school, Cecilia St.; and the University of Freiburg-in-Breisgau, Germany (NUI medical travelling studentship, 1912), he obtained first-class honours and a first-class exhibition in every medical examination and in his biology BA (1908). After two years in Germany as assistant to Professor Keibel, he spent a year in the Cancer Hospital, London (later the Royal Marsden), also doing practical work in St Bartholomew's. He graduated MD (Hons) (1915) and M.Ch. (1916). The Mater Misericordiae, Dublin, then the largest general hospital in Ireland, appointed him assistant surgeon (1915), surgeon (1918), senior surgeon (1925), and secretary of the medical board. He was consulting surgeon to the National Maternity Hospital, Newcastle Sanatorium, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and the Incorporated Dental Hospital, Dublin; a member of the Irish Hospital Trust Board; and an honorary life member of the International Association of Surgeons. He held the chair of surgery at UCD (1928–58) jointly with Henry Sords Meade (qv), succeeding J. S. McArdle (qv); served on the NUI senate from 1934 and the governing body of UCD; and unsuccessfully contested the UCD presidency election of 1947. He suffered a detachment of the retina (1947) and retired from professional duties on 24 April 1958. He was an accomplished surgeon but an unremarkable lecturer, and neither he nor his department was committed to research. A man of great generosity, humanity, and charm, he treated patients who could not afford a consultant's fees, and (during 1919–21) IRA wounded, concealing their identities from British forces. With immense influence and high personal reputation, he supported Cumann na nGaedheal and later Fine Gael. In 1927 he tended the fatally wounded Kevin O'Higgins (qv), a close friend. Barniville was an elected member of the first senate throughout its duration (1922–36), speaking four times, and an elected member for NUI in the reconstituted senate from March 1938 to his death, speaking nine times. In youth he was a fine athlete, excelling at swimming and rugby. He married (1919) Brigid Wymes of Co. Westmeath. They had one daughter and two sons (one, Harry, played international tennis for Ireland) and lived at 9 Merrion Square, Dublin, where Barniville died 23 September 1960.
Who’s who in the seanad elections 1925 (n.d); Ir. Times, Ir. Independent, 24 Sept. 1960; Journal of the Irish Medical Association, xlvii (Nov. 1960); British Medical Jn., 21 Jan. 1961; Mater Misericordiae Hospital Centenary 1861–1961 (1961); James Meenan, George O’Brien (1980); J. B. Lyons, An assembly of Irish surgeons (1984)