Eoin’s last wish comes true: Heartbroken family publish book in honour of talented poet

Eoin’s last wish comes true: Heartbroken family publish book in honour of talented poet

Maria Murray, with her Mum Tess and brother Brian, holding her brother (the late Eoin Murray's) new book of poetry There is a Mountain. Picture Dan Linehan

EOIN Murray passed away suddenly at the age of just 23 but the Carrigtwohill man’s heartbroken family was determined not to let his dreams die with him.

They have now fulfilled his wish to publish a poetry book — the release of which comes almost two years before what would have been his 30th birthday.

There Is A Mountain contains 111 poems that were penned by Eoin before his death due to a heart condition. Despite his tender age, he had already been making waves on the Cork poetry scene.

He had previously shown promise in other areas after studying energy engineering as well as maths and physics. The 23-year-old was also a talented musician. After falling in love with poetry, he decided to enrol in an arts course at UCC. Remarkably, Eoin’s hopes to bring out a poetry book by 30 were the focus of his last conversation with family.

 Maria Murray with her Mum Tess and brother Brian. Picture Dan Linehan
Maria Murray with her Mum Tess and brother Brian. Picture Dan Linehan

“Eoin was living in the city before he died but had been visiting my parents in Carrigtwohill,” Eoin’s sister, Maria Murray said. “He was really happy and telling them about how he was going to have a book out by the time he was 30. He was really happy and so sure of himself. Our parents had already known that Eoin had wanted to be a poet but it was interesting that this was the last conversation they had.” Leanne O’Sullivan and Eoin’s former secondary school teacher, John McCarthy, assisted with the editing of the book, while writer Cónal Creedon penned the foreword.

Extending her gratitude to the three, Maria said: “It’s a huge testament to Eoin. It has also been very emotional. A lot of people are getting in touch and talking about Eoin. We think and talk about him all the time.

“When you are talking about someone you are keeping them alive. I wouldn’t have understood much about that until Eoin passed away. People sometimes think that that the best thing to do in these situations is to stay quiet but we love to talk about Eoin. Each time someone comes up and tells us about a conversation they had with him, it’s like we are getting a new memory.

“You could go to bed and never get up again, but my parents are strong. I don’t think we realise the strength we have until something like this happens. If we had known in advance that we were going to lose Eoin, it would have been unbearable. There are people out there who know that their loved one isn’t going to make it and that must be so difficult for them. We are glad we have so many happy memories with Eoin.”

Maria started compiling the book from poems they found shortly after Eoin passed away five years ago. “It was challenging knowing what to include,” she said.

“Some of the poems really appealed to me personally because they captured Eoin so well but I also had to think of what would appeal to readers. Leanne and John were great on that front because they had a sense of what was finished.”

Maria’s artwork — a portrait of Eoin — graces the cover of the book. She spoke of how they often bonded through their art.

“He told me some interesting things before about writing on an old fashioned typewriter, a laptop and with a pen and paper. Eoin used all three to write poems and described how each medium would bring about a different result. That was always fascinating to me because I feel the same way about my painting. The materials I use always influence the outcome of my paintings in different ways.”

Everyone involved in the book had a personal connection with Eoin.

“It was really nice to have it done with Carrig Print because they had printed stuff for Eoin before and one of Eoin’s good friends worked there. They gave us a proof and it was really amazing.”

Readers can purchase a copy of the book, which is priced at €15 by visiting https://eoinmurray.org/donate--buy.html. All proceeds go to the Eoin Murray Memorial Scholarship.

Eoin is survived by his parents Jim and Tess and siblings Maria, James and Brian.

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