Thomas is from Dunmore East in Waterford where he attended Killea boys primary school and De la Salle school, Waterford. Barr is the younger brother of Irish Olympic track athlete Jessie Barr (4x400m relay London 2012) they also share a birthdate – July 24. He also has a sister Becky and his parents are Tommy and Martina Barr.
Growing up in the coastal town of Dunmore East, with a mum from ‘The Hook’ and a dad from Passage, Thomas was a typical seaside water-baby and he continues his passion for the water today with wake-jumping and water skiing. He also enjoys snowboarding and the buzz it gives him and that it allows him to switch off from athletics. He also loves working on his modified car and taking it for a spin at the Tannery Drifters Club in Waterford.
From a young age Thomas was interested in the world around him and how things worked preferring to figure things out independently than follow the instructions. Qualified with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Sports Performance both from the University of Limerick (UL). Since Thomas’s graduation his training base has remained in UL under the guidance of coaches Hayley and Drew Harrison.
In 2018 he won a famous bronze medal in the 400m Hurdles in a time of 48.31 seconds at the European Championships in Berlin, ending an 84-year wait for an Irish male sprinter to reach the podium in a major championships. He also won his eighth national 400m Hurdles title setting a new championships best performance of 49.56. Set an Irish best performance for 400m Hurdles (indoors).
2017 was a tough year for Thomas when he had to withdraw from the World Athletics Championships in London due to illness which affected 30 athletes competing at the championships.
He shoot to fame in 2016 when he finished fourth at the Rio Olympic Games in another smashing national record of 47.97 seconds, a time which would have secured him a medal at the previous three Games.
In 2019 he will compete in the World (IAAF) Athletics Championships with the long-term goal of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.