Murphy, Rory

12 December 2003
The Late Rory Murphy

The news of the unexpected death of Mr Rory Murphy, Ballinavocra, Bunclody which took place at the County Hospital Wexford on Wednesday, November 26 was learned of with great sadness in Bunclody and the surrounding areas.

Rory had been in his usual fairly good health when he retired to bed on Tuesday night but after taken ill he was removed to the hospital where he died early the next day. A wonderful family man, he showed a great love for his family and extended family, and his passing has created a void there that can never be filled.

His wife Nancy ( Kelly) had predeceased him by nine years and she was also a very beloved member of the local community. Despite his failing health Rory continued to attend meetings and to show his support to the very many organisations he had chaired or organised from their beginnings in the town. Of the many organisations he was involved in he always gave them of his best and worked untiringly and with dedications for successful results in all of these committees.

He became secretary of the Kilmyshall Cumann (Fianna Fail) when a teenager and was also the founder member of the Macra na Feirme in the area. He was founder member of the Bunclody Co-op, an organisation which has gone from strength under his supervision.

It was in the year 1959 that he became involved at national level with the Farm Apprenticeship Board and went on to become chairman of Macra na Tuaithe and later was appointed chairman of Foras Taluntais. He took up a position with The RTE Authority in 1973 and served on the board of CERT. The Irish Sugar Company and Chairman of Erin Foods. During the 1979 period he was appointed chairman of Teagasc by a former Taoiseach, the late Jack Lynch and served in this position for two years. He became very interested in tourism and was an enthusiastic supporter of the County Council’s approach in this direction. He was chairman of the Co. Wexford tourism committee and also served with the South Eastern Regional Tourism Board. A great historian he took a very keen interest in the heritage and the history of his native county. A founder member of the Buncloudy horticultural society. He was a prominent supporter to Comoradh ’98 and was a member of the Wexford Senate.

In the end of the 80’s and early 90’s he co-directed a FAS teamwork scheme under the aegis of Glor na Gael Bunclody with Ken Hemmingway and other people in the production of a booklet recording gravestones inscriptions in several cemeteries in Bunclody and the surrounding areas. He worked untiringly on the Board of Askamore Parish Journal and also penned “Ten Generations of the Handricks Mount Leinster” in 1992 and “The Battle of Newtownbarry” in 1998. Along with the late Eamon Whelan from Clonegal he produced “A Christian Calling” a religious life and christian death in the parish of Clonegal in 2000 and later produced two volumes of “The Wexford Gentry” with Arthur Kavanagh tracing the origins of 24 Wexford families which were published in 1994 and 1996. He was a member of the Ui Cinnsealaigh Society and with others founded the Bunclody story telling society. He was involved for over fifty years with the Bunclody Horticultural Society.

He was a keen follower of GAA and was secretary of the Half Way House Bunclody as vice chairman of the Wexford County Board and Enniscorthy GAA executive committee. He served on Wexford County Council and was first appointed in 1971 and served the council very well for many years. A fellow councillor chairman Lorcan Allen paid special tribute to his work as a councillor at a meeting specially convened in th council offices before his funeral last week.

The remains were removed to the Church of Saint Magdalen Kilmyshall from his home for requiem Mass which took place followed by interment in Calvary cemetery. The chief celebrant was Father Frank Murphy, brother who returned home for the sad occasion from Recife, Brazil. Father Paul Butler CC Kilmyshall gave the homily. Speaking at the cemetery Mr John Browne TD Minister described Rory as a friend and mentor. His contribution both locally and nationally was immense. He also spoke at length of Rory’s achievements with the many organisations which he served.

Among the clergy present were Fr James Ryan PP Courtown, Fr Stafford, Fr O’Reilly, Fr Cushen, Fr S De Val, Fr O’Connor, Fr McCarthy and Fr Sweetman, Fr Sinnott. He is mourned by his sons Rory Og Murphy, Bunclody, Fr Murphy Enniscorthy and Kenya, his daughters Mairin Kehoe, Cremetigue; Paula Redmond, Gurteen; Barbara Ann Murphy, Ballinavocran; Fidelma Murphy, Bunclody; grandchildren, Emma, Shane, Dean, Cathal, Phil Murphy, Bunclody; Fr Frank Murphy Brazil; Stephen, John, Dan, Tony, Tom, Kevin and Aidan. Sisters Maureen, Joanne, Irene (Sister Mary Rita), Pearl and Noreen, sister-in-law, brother, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. The swimming pool members, county council members and GAA club formed a guard of honour to the remains of a scholar and gentleman. May he rest in peace.

Courtesy of The Nationalist
December 12th 2003