Judge Sir Redmond Barry was born on 7th June 1813 at Ballyclough, County Cork, Ireland. In 1839 he undertook the voyage to Australia, during which he was confined to his cabin for having an affair with a married woman.

A Supreme Court judge for thirty years, Barry was the first Chancellor of Melbourne University, founder of the Melbourne Public Library, and the sustaining force behind the Supreme Court Library, the National Gallery and the Museum.

Barry is best known for presiding over the trials of Ned Kelly's mother and of the bushranger Ned Kelly himself. Ned's mother received a sentence of three years imprisonment, and Ned was sentenced to death by hanging. Upon hearing his sentence, Ned promised to meet the judge soon in a fairer court in the sky. Twelve days after Ned's death, on 23rd December 1880, Judge Barry passed away, aged 67.

Although often regarded as hidebound, writer Ann Galbally has revealed that "his trust in the rule of law underpinned, for example, an unusually sympathetic and active response to the Aboriginal people." Galbally also brought to light the story of his partner of thirty years, Louisa Barrow, and their four illegitimate children.

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