Barry, Matthew (d. 1696?), government official, was elder son among two sons and one daughter of Nicholas Barry, merchant of Dublin, and Joan Barry, daughter of Nicholas Howard of Dublin, chamberlain of the exchequer. He married (c.1630) Jane Bermingham, and had two sons and two daughters. He may have deputised as clerk of the privy council in the 1640s in the absence of the clerk, Sir Paul Davies (qv), apparently his uncle, who later referred to having trained him in the responsibilities of that post. In 1654 he was employed by the commonwealth regime in indexing material relating to land claims, and acted as secretary to the Irish parliamentary convention in 1660. He was named as one of two clerks to the court of castle chamber (27 June 1661) and, at Davies's request, was one of two of his nephews awarded a reversion to the post of clerk of the council (17 July 1661). He appears in practice to have deputised for Davies in that post in the 1660s and 1670s, and was appointed joint clerk, for life, with two of Davies's sons (15 January 1673); in 1681 the duke of Ormond (qv) vigorously defended Barry's right to that office.
On 7 April 1678 he was awarded a reversion to the exchequer positions of clerk of the pipe and ingrosser of the great roll, in conjunction with the eldest Davies son, for their lives. He appears to have retained possession of these offices until James II's (qv) residence in Dublin, when new – catholic – appointees were placed in the council clerkship (27 August 1689) and the exchequer posts (28 November 1689). After the Williamite victory he sought reinstatement but was suspended, it being alleged that he had continued to serve James after his overthrow in England, had advocated a proclamation declaring William III (qv) a usurper, and vacated his office to make room for a catholic replacement, chosen merely on the basis of religion, not for more pronounced loyalty. Lords Justices Charles Porter (qv) and Thomas Coningsby (qv) were ordered to institute a trial against him (May 1691), in order to deprive him of the patent for the council clerkship, held for life. He protested as an ousted protestant sufferer, and doubts arose about the securing of a favourable jury. The case and his outlawry seem to have been dropped by 1692, but he surrendered his various patents, his sons being appointed to the exchequer positions 26 June 1693. He resided at Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, where he held leases of property, and also owned land in Co. Kildare. He probably died in 1696.