Cork's hurling success in the 1970s was a highlight for Frank Murphy

Cork's hurling success in the 1970s was a highlight for Frank Murphy
The Cork hurling team and mentors arrive back in 1976, including Fr Bertie Troy, Frank Murphy, Ray Cummins, Jimmy Brohan and Christy Ring.

FRANK Murphy described his term as Cork hurling selector between the All-Ireland winning years of 1976-1978 as one of the highlights of his innings as county secretary.

Murphy signed off his tenure at the helm of Cork GAA at Saturday's convention in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“I had the opportunity of experiencing the vitality, charisma, determination and the mind of the maestro himself, Christy Ring.

“It was an experience to see that man in action. It was unbelievable, the intensity he brought, when talking to players, the instruction he would give.

“It was as amazing being in the dressing room as when he was on the field of play,” Murphy told a packed attendance at convention.

A reunion on the great 1970s team, back in 2009. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE
A reunion on the great 1970s team, back in 2009. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

“There were other outstanding people, too, like Johnny Clifford, Denis Hurley, Jimmy Brohan, Denis Murphy, Tim Mullane and the great Bertie Troy from Newtownshandrum.

“It was wonderful in my first year as secretary that Cork were All-Ireland football champions in 1973 under Billy Morgan.”

In a wide-ranging address, he also touched on his time as a referee of high standing.

“One game stands out as being unique, a Munster U21 hurling championship game between Cork and Kerry.

“The Kerry delegate proposed me as the referee and I did my best for them.

“It has never happened before or happened since, though I’d doubt if they’d trust me with a football game.”

On his feet for over half-an-hour, the outgoing secretary had everyone in the palm of his hand as he outlined in detail his term in office. 

“I was appointed county secretary in December, 1972, at the age of 27. I was the third Blackrock man to become secretary.

“Since 1884, this county has had only six secretaries, and I had the privilege of following in the immense footsteps of three men, Pádraig Ó Chaoimh, Seán Óg Murphy and Con Murphy.

“It has been an honour and privilege to serve this county for 46 years. As I mentioned in my report 16 chairmen served in that time and it is appropriate that I mention them by name.”

Michael Ellard interviews Frank Murphy in 1987.
Michael Ellard interviews Frank Murphy in 1987.

He was also Cork’s Munster Council representative for 35 years and president for the last three years.

“It is an institution that I found quite motivating and a place where great friendships were to be earned.

“There was always great banter, too.”

He is regarded as an authority on the GAA’s rules, which can be quite complex at times.

His understanding and ability to untangle the intricate web has made Murphy one of the most important member of bodies charged with various rule changes over the years.

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