It was with a sense of sadness and regret that we heard yesterday of the death of Sean Murphy of Killeagh. Though the word is often misused we have no hesitation in saying that Sean was truly a legend. Sean devoted his life to working for the good of others. Though nominally a farmer -and Sean loved the land, it can be truthfully said that Sean Murphy was in reality an unpaid community and social worker. He had poor eyesight all his life but in no way did this hinder his zest for helping others.
His name is as synonymous with Killeagh as is Glenbower Wood but his but his sphere of influence went far, far beyond his beloved native village. In Macra na Feirme, the GAA, Politics, Point to Point Racing and the Pioneer Association Sean was an influential, respected and valued member. It was however in Muintir na Tire that that Sean Murphy was known literally nationwide. He espoused the vision of Muintir's founder, Canon Hayes, and immersed himself in everything that was positive about Community Development. He promoted the idea of Muintir na Tire Guilds in local parishes and then in later years the concept of Community Councils.
In his days in Macra na Feirme Sean honed his debating skills and was a gifted orator. He was a firm believer in correct protocol at meetings and his opinions and views were widely sought. A man of immense intellect his ability to retain and recall incidents of fifty or sixty years ago was uncanny. He loved a good debate, even bordering on an argument!- but whatever the outcome of such verbal sparring Sean remained a friend.
It was indeed fitting that in 2018 Sean was the recipient of the Overall Individual Community Award presented by the Mayor of Cork County, it was an award that was richly deserved after over 60 years of Community endeavour.
He loved the GAA and proudly represented his Club Killeagh at the East Cork Board. He told me years ago that he first ventured to the Board in the late 1950's and, as he said himself, 'got a permanent job there in the early 1960's. He was so happy when Killeagh won Junior and Intermediate hurling titles, when Mark Landers captained Cork to All Ireland victory in 1999 along with Bernard Rochford and Joe Deane and of course when Tracey Kennedy became Cathaoirleach of the Cork GAA Board three years ago.
Despite poor health in the last decade Sean' kept right on 'til the end of the road'. Sean you were a great friend to so many, for years yourself and Junior Scully were to be seen everywhere together -at games, Board Meetings, Conventions, Scor and anywhere Gaels gathered.
We will all miss you Sean, thanks for everything you did for so many for so long. You came in in troubled times in 1939 and now in this troubled year of 2020 you have bade farewell. God bless you and keep you.
Gan dabht ní bheidh do leithéad arís ann, slán a chara dilis. John Arnold