The De La Salle defender was to the fore for club and county this year leading from the back as Waterford played an All-Ireland semi final for the first time since 1959.
Speaking to WLR Sport, Keeley said she was "A bit in shock, but absolutely thrilled to be getting the award. There's a lot of people that deserved it - especially from De La Salle - there's a lot of girls who have been working so hard all year. I’m absolutely thrilled, but definitely a bit of shock"
The Rathgormack native was a crucial cog in Derek Lyon’s Deise machine throughout the league and Championship in 2022 beating Wexford, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare.
The Déise – with Barry at the heart of defence – toppled Tipperary for the first time ever at senior level, they also hammered Wexford in the previous round with the Yellowbellies notching just nine points to Waterford’s 3-18.
Despite defeat in the All-Ireland semi-final, Keeley can boast that she went further in the championship than any team has managed in 63 years.
Speaking about the opening day loss in the Championship, the dual star who plays football with Comeragh Rangers said they were never going to put their tails between their legs after losing to Dublin.
“We went out the next week and drove it on. All our hard work really did pay off to be fair. The management and the work that they had been doing with is, it did pay off in the end. It was a great year and it’s probably one that we won’t forget”.
Turning to club activity with De La Salle, Barry was back to her best in the county championship. The Gracedieu outfit lifted their first-ever senior county title in no small part thanks to her contributions. Her point in the county final win over Gailltír was one that will be long remembered amongst the best ever scored at Carriganore. Keeley earned a player of the match award for her performance on the day.
“It was such a sense of relief. There’s a lot of people that will tell you ‘winning the first one is just getting the monkey off your back’ and it was just such a weight lifted off the shoulders but its just incredible to see the tears of joy instead of the heartbreak for once. It’s unbelievable, it was absolutely amazing” said Barry on the moments that followed that breakthrough win.
She would also go on to line out in the Salle shirt for the Munster campaign where Conor O’Toole’s side were narrowly beaten by Drom & Inch after extra time.