IT was a night of memories and nostalgia recently at Páirc Uí Chaoimh when hundreds of guests from all corners of the GAA world came to celebrate the vast contribution the recently retired Cork County Board secretary Frank Murphy.
It was a richly deserved tribute to the man who had steered the association in the county since his appointment in 1973.
The President of the GAA, John Horan was among the distinguished guests present on the occasion as well as officials from past and present Munster councils.
In a wide-ranging address, Mr Murphy told the gathering that one of the great highlights of his time in office was Cork’s double year of 1990.
“From a historic viewpoint, the winning of the two All-Ireland titles in 1990 was unique.
It hadn’t been achieved in 100 years and when it was, by a Cork club team in the 1890s, the playing of the finals fell over a two-year period and at that time it was the clubs representing the counties.
“Our two teams were trained by two geniuses in Canon O’Brien and Billy Morgan, two men who gave outstanding service to our county as coaches in their respective spheres."
Another feature of his time at the helm was the development of the now brand new Páirc Uí Chaoimh, not once but twice.
“It is the second time we have developed the stadium from the old Athletic Grounds. The first time was in 1976 and it was very modern at the time and it certainly served its purpose.
“It was essential given the fact that the stadium had run its lifetime that a new Páirc Uí Chaoimh would be developed and we are pleased with the development that has now been completed.
“I have no doubt it will be of tremendous benefit to our association and it is going to be important along the way that it is kept in pristine condition and that will be a challenge for future generations.’’
Mr Murphy went on to salute the great men that he had served with, former chairpersons and treasurers, the latter including the late Derry Maher, Dan Hoare and Gene Fitzgerald as well as former chair and treasurer Derry Gowen.
“We look forward to other great leaders leading the association and I want to wish our new secretary Kevin O’Donovan great success in the job that he is undertaking.’’
It certainly was an occasion to say thanks to man whose contribution to Cork GAA was immense