Tributes paid on passing Galway hurling giant Phelim Murphy

Galway Daily sports Tributes have been paid to the late Phelim Murphy, who dedicated almost all of his life to supporting hurling in Galway.
18 March 2002; Gaa official Phelim Murphy during the Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B Round 4 match between Wexford and Tipperary at Wexford Park in Wexford. Photo by Aoife Rice/Sportsfile

Tributes have been paid to the late Phelim Murphy, who dedicated almost all of his life to supporting hurling in Galway.

The Turloughmore man passed away on Friday at the age of 91, after a lifetime of service to his local community, county, and province.

Born in 1931, he played hurling in the 50s, but the real impact he had came as an administrator, when, in 1956, he was instrumental in founding Turloughmore Hurling Club from local parish teams.

He went on to chair that club for 21 years, and during his time in charge, saw Turloughmore win six back to back Senior Hurling Club Championships from 1961 to 1966.

At the county level, Phelim was part of the County Hurling Board from the day it was set up in 1971, and went on to serve as its Secretary for 23 years from 1982 onwards.

During his time in office, Galway achieved some its greatest hurling triumphs in history, most notably, back to back All-Ireland Senior Hurling victories in 1987 and 1988.

Galway achieved many more great successes at the Minor and U21 level during his time in office, where he also periodically served as a Selector.

He also served for three years as President of the Connacht Council, and also became Vice-President of the GAA.

Phelim left a lasting legacy by playing an important role in overseeing the development of Kenny Park in Athenry.

His home club, Turloughmore, said “Everyone in the Turloughmore Hurling and Camogie Clubs would like to extend our sincere sympathy to Nellie and all the Murphy family on their sad loss.

“We will never see his likes again. May Phelim Rest in Peace.”

Galway GAA also played tribute to the giant, saying that he will be sadly missed by family, friend, and “the whole Galway GAA community”.

He is survived by a large family, including his wife Nellie, sons PJ, Tony, Jody, Phelim, Martin and Brendan, daughters Marina, Dolly, Patricia, Cassie, Helen, Majella, Sally, Ruth and Christine, along with many more grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

As a mark of respect, the Division 1 Hurling Final between Loughrea and Turloughmore has been postponed, as have the Club Championship draws.

New dates and times for both will be announced after they are confirmed by Galway GAA.