Sadness in East Cork GAA with the passing of Killeagh stalwart Murphy

Sadness in East Cork GAA with the passing of Killeagh stalwart Murphy
The late Sean Murphy, East Cork delegate from Killeagh/Glenbower Rovers for over 55 years, back in 2017. Included are, back, Don Hegarty, David 'Junior' Scully, Ray Rochford, Mary Fitzgibbon, Willie Ring and John O'Donoghue. Front: Michael O'Brien, Ciaran McGann Treasurer and Donal O'Keeffe. Picture: Denis O'Flynn

CORK County GAA Board Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy has led the tributes Killeagh’s Sean Murphy who passed away during the week.

Mr Murphy was a staunch member of the East Cork club and he was one of its pillars as it grew into one of the most vibrant units of the Association in the region.

He was the club’s East Cork Board representative for over 60 years and throughout the county, he was recognised for a lifelong contribution to the GAA.

He was hugely involved in other organisations as well but primarily he was a person who left an indelible mark on the GAA in the Killeagh club.

“Sean was a legend in Killeagh, my own club, he was at the heart of our community, he was involved in everything down here but his contribution over the last 60 years to the GAA was immense," Kennedy told The Echo.

“He had an awful lot to do with myself getting involved and he brought me to my first East Cork Board meeting along with Junior Scully.

“He was very involved in the club and when we made the big breakthrough back in the early 70s he was a key figure. He oversaw our club grow from junior to senior, that made him so proud and he was involved in the club Lotto, everything.

“He was a great friend to me and the sad thing about it now is that we cannot give him the send-off that he so richly deserves. We cannot come together to do that in the current circumstances but at the appropriate time we will honour his memory." 

Another GAA stalwart, John Arnold from the Bride Rovers club was another to pay tribute to a person who he described as an outstanding GAA person.

“I have known Sean all my life, since first going to the East Cork Board as a club delegate. I have great memories of him for the contributions that he made and how he always fought Killeagh’s corner.

“Back in the late 60s there would have been a great rivalry between my club Bride Rovers and Killeagh.

“We won the East Cork JHC in 1968 and 1969 but Killeagh beat us in 70 and ’71. He saw the club grow through the years and I suppose one of his proudest times was when Killeagh had three players on the Cork squad in 1999, Mark Landers, Joe Deane and Bernard Rochford.

All eyes on Killeagh's Joe Deane as he goes past Cloyne's Maurice Cahill and Eoin O'Sullivan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
All eyes on Killeagh's Joe Deane as he goes past Cloyne's Maurice Cahill and Eoin O'Sullivan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“To have a Killeagh man, Mark Landers, lead Cork to All-Ireland glory was a massive thing for a small club back then.

“There was great respect for him throughout East Cork and into the county, he had great knowledge and memory of the rule book.

“He was a single man but his family was the GAA. He was razor-sharp at board meetings, fighting Killeagh’s corner if there was a problem about a fixture or something like that.

“Killeagh have had great clubmen down the years, Tom Fitzgibbon, Dick Doocey, Junior Scully to mention just three and Sean and every club needs these people if they are to prosper.

“On a personal level I will miss meeting up with him at meetings but we will all remember him as a great GAA man."

 Michael O’Brien is the current Secretary of the East Cork Board and he too was very willing to salute a person who he described as a wonderful ambassador for the club and the Board itself.

“Where do you start with Sean, he was a huge figure in the GAA in East Cork, serving on the board for 60 plus years.

“A couple of years ago we made a presentation to him to mark his 50th year as a delegate, that was some going and he was there up to recently.

“He served under so many different chairpersons, Paddy O’Driscooll, Derry O’Brien, who passed away recently too, another great GAA man, John Hennessy, Fr Declan, Jerry O’Sullivan, Ger Lane, Dick Fitzgerald and now Donal O’Keeffe. 

“The East Cork Board was founded in 1924 so Sean had been a part of it for over half a century.

“As a Killeagh man he always stood up for the club, he’d argue his point and he was rarely wrong. He knew the rules inside out and he was a big help that way too.

“Down the years the East Cork Board has had so many great people involved, people that were a great help to me and Sean was one of them.

“He was involved in so many other things too, race committees, Muintir na Tire but the GAA was his passion and Killeagh were first and foremost."

Richard Fitzgerald, chairman of the East Cork board, making a presentation to the late Séan Murphy, the East Cork delegate from Killeagh/Glenbower Rovers for over 55 years of service. Picture: Denis O'Flynn
Richard Fitzgerald, chairman of the East Cork board, making a presentation to the late Séan Murphy, the East Cork delegate from Killeagh/Glenbower Rovers for over 55 years of service. Picture: Denis O'Flynn

Those viewpoints will be shared by many throughout East Cork and the wider GAA community in the county.

The Killeagh club will be the all the poorer for his passing.

May he rest in peace.

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