Designed by architect Edward P. Casey and sculpted by John J. Boyle, this memorial is an eight-foot bronze statue of Commodore John Barry, who is depicted standing on a high marble pedestal. An Irish immigrant, Commodore Barry joined the American colonial navy and was the first officer to capture an enemy war vessel during the Revolutionary War. The statue was erected by Congress at the request of Irish-American groups.
The figure of Barry is depicted in the uniform of the mixed forces, as he served both at sea and on land. His orders are grasped in his right hand, which rests firmly on the hilt of his sword. A heavy cape falls from his shoulders. On the front of the marble pedestal is powerfully carved female figure of Victory holding a laurel branch as she stands on the prow of a ship, her drapery fluttering as if in the wind. An eagle rests on her right side.
An Act approved the statue on June 8, 1906, at a cost of $50,000 in government funding. The finished memorial was dedicated on May 16, 1914, with a large number of Irish-Americans in attendance. The statue is currently owned by the National Park Service.
Part of American Revolution Statuary
DC Inventory: March 3, 1979
National Register: July 14, 1978