During World War II, Barrière joined the French Resistance and operated in Aude. Whilst in the resistance, he met French leaders of rugby league which had been banned by the collaborationist Vichy government.
After the war, Barrière, along with Marcel Laborde who served as president of the French Rugby League between 1944 and 1947, worked to re-establish rugby league, which had been severely disrupted. Barrière became vice-president of the French Rugby League on 16 September 1944 at the Hotel Regina in Toulouse. He was elected president on 2 July 1947 at a meeting in Bayonne. Barrière was the driving force behind the agreement to create the International Rugby League Board and to institute a World Cup. When asked for this opinion on moves to name the World Cup trophy after him, Barrière refused the honour.
From 1990 until 2004 Barrière organised the Festival de la Cite in Carcassonne for musical theatre.
In 2008, Barrière was posthumously awarded the inaugural RLIF Spirit of Rugby League Award which was created to honour those deemed to have made a significant contribution to the sport during their lifetime.
Barrière was survived by his wife, Jeanine, and her daughter, Babette.
- "Décès de Paul Barrière : le festival de la Carcassonne est orphelin" (in French). Toulouse: La Dépêche du Midi. 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- "Disparition de Paul Barrière" (in French). sport.fr. 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
- Ledger, John (19 November 2008). "World Cup finalists united in effort to raise spirits". Yorkshire: Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- "Hayne named International Player of the Year". Australian Rugby League. 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2010.