Paddy Murphy

Paddy Murphy, born and reared in the blue and navy of Barryroe, was a man who was not only part of the history of Barryroe but created much of that history. The club territory embraces the villages of Butlerstown, Courtmacsherry and Lislevane, and amalgamating all three domains under the unified flag of the Barryroe parish, symbolises a spirit of unity amongst the GAA community that has stood the test of time. Every parish in Ireland has its characters, its heroes and its legends and in Paddy Murphy, Barryroe had all three rolled into one. Barryroe is defined by three main bodies, the local primary school, the Co-op and the GAA club. All of Paddy’s family attended Barryroe National School, for 49 years he worked in Barryroe Co-op and in 1965, on a “temporary basis”, he assumed the role of secretary of Barryroe GAA Club. He gave an exemplary 51 years of unbroken service to Barryroe GAA Club as secretary. It was through the GAA that Paddy became one of the most recognised and well-known characters in West Cork and beyond. His contribution to the GAA in Cork, in Carbery, and especially, in Barryroe was not only long and memorable but was an inspiration to all who knew him. As a teenager, playing hurling and football every week, was a way of life for Paddy and in 1966, when Barryroe had no under age teams, Paddy joined forces with the Newcestown minor gaels and wore the red and yellow of the famed club, along with two more Barryroe colleagues.

Paddy moulded Barryroe to his dreams, especially in the GAA and his ready smile and quick wit were legendary. Small in stature but huge of character, Paddy was a man you enjoyed as a friend, a companion or just to spin a few yarns. The highs and lows of Paddy’s tenure were many, but the first minor hurling club success of 1968, when Barryroe won the ‘B’ Carbery Championship was always a proud recollection. Several more titles came to the club over the intervening decades and the pinnacle achievement was the winning of the Cork Junior ‘A’ County Hurling Championship in 2007. The formation of a camogie division was also proposed by Paddy and the fruits of his endeavours have been harvested many times since foundation.

Despite all the success on the playing pitches, Paddy got his greatest satisfaction from the physical developments in the club, which he also oversaw as chairman of the development committee, from the purchase of the playing field in 1973 to the wonderful facilities the club boasts today. Paddy is sorely missed in Barryroe and in GAA circles in West Cork and beyond but his legacy will forever remain after him. As long as young men, and women, strike a sliotar, kick a ball or enjoy the fine facilities of Páirc Uí Mhurchú (officially recognised from August 2018), Paddy Murphy will never be forgotten.

Jimmy Barry Murphy marking Paddy's 50 year milestone at The Lifeboat Inn, Courtmacsherry on the 20th February 2016.

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