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'Had I gone on that plane, I'd be dead right now': FM104's Chris Barry on his near-death experience

The late-night presenter suffered serious chest pains as he walked home.

Rare photograph of FM104's Chris Barry.
Rare photograph of FM104's Chris Barry.
Image: Chris Barry

RADIO PRESENTER CHRIS Barry dodged a heart attack three hours before boarding a plane thanks to his quick-thinking doctor.

The presenter, who hosts the long-running FM104 Phoneshow, is currently resting up after having emergency heart surgery last week. Barry had been preparing to go on holidays to Lisbon and was getting himself some dinner from the local take away.

But as he started to climb a hill, he began getting chest pains, which increased in pain and frequency as his walk continued.

Worried by the sudden, sharp pains, Barry ducked into his local GP, dinner in-hand, and asked what was wrong.

Speaking exclusively to TheJournal.ie, Barry said: “I was all ready to go on my holidays. I had been working away and was looking forward to putting the feet up.

“I had just gone down for a take away before I headed to the airport and that’s when the trouble started. I started getting this pain in my chest, then it was getting worse. I couldn’t really breathe properly. The GP near where I live was open so I went in and she saw me on short notice.

She hooked me up to the ECG machine, switched it on and the just looked at me and said: ‘Right, you’re going to hospital. Now.

“I was thinking to myself: ‘Eh, no. I’m going to Lisbon in three hours.’ Evidently, I wasn’t.

“So the doctor is there ringing the hospital, getting me sorted and that’s when it hits me, ‘this is serious’.

“So I’m brought straight into the hospital, past A&E and get a bed straight away. Then I knew it was properly serious. Nobody gets a bed that quick.”

chris barry 1 The presenter was close to death.


Barry was rushed into surgery and doctors were able to put a stent in his heart.

A stent is a small mesh tube that’s used to treat narrow or weak arteries and the surgeons discovered one of his arteries was 90% blocked.

Barry added: “So, had I gone on that plane, I’d be dead right now.

“The doctor told me I was one dodgy greasy burger away from a massive heart attack.

Supposedly, it’s down to lifestyle. I don’t smoke at all but I do drink. They told me that horrible three letter word as well… gym. I’ve a two-hour plan-a-day to do and I’ve to cut down on everything. I suppose it has to be done.

Barry said he is now taking a two month break from the radio.

But he said he’ll still be keeping up to date with all that’s going on.

He received death threats last year from Islamic fundamentalists as well as well-known Dublin gangland figures.

It is for this reason, he declines using up-to-date photographs in articles about him or the FM104 Phoneshow.

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