Con Murphy (hurler) bigraphy, stories - Irish hurler

Con Murphy (hurler) : biography

28 October 1922 - 29 April 2007

Cornelius "Con" Murphy (28 October 1922 - 29 April 2007) was an Irish hurler who played as a full-back for the Cork senior team.

Murphy joined the team during the 1942 championship and was a regular member of the starting fifteen until his retirement after the 1951 championship. During that time he won four All-Ireland medals, five Munster medals and one National League medal. Murphy was an All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion.

At club level Murphy enjoyed a lengthy career with Valley Rovers while he also played with divisional side Carrigdhoun.

In retirement from playing Murphy became a referee at the highest levels. He also served as a Gaelic games administrator with the Cork County Board before assuming the office of President of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1976.

Post playing career

Refereeing career

As his playing career drew to a close Murphy began his career as a top-class referee. He was still a player with the Cork senior team when he was charged with officiating at the National League final in 1947. The following year Murphy took charge of his first All-Ireland senior decider when Waterford won their inaugural title. 1949 saw him referee the Munster final, having played in the earlier rounds of the championship, as well as the All-Ireland junior final. The following year Murphy was the man-in-the-middle for the All-Ireland senior final once again as Tipperary took their second consecutive title. In 1952 he was the referee for the National League final once again.

Murphy was also a popular referee on the local club scene around Munster. He took charge of numerous club championship deciders in Cork and Tipperary.

Cork County Board

Murphy was still a teenager when he became involved in the administrative affairs of the Gaelic Athletic Association. He represented Valley Rovers at the Carrigdhoun convention and in 1948 was elected chairman of that body at just twenty-six years of age. Murphy went on to represent Carrigdhoun at county board level, and became a member of the Cork County Board executive in 1947.

In the early 1950s Murphy held the positions of Vice-Chairman and Treasurer. In 1956, following the death of Seán Óg Murphy, he took over as Secretary of the County Board, one of the most difficult but prestigious of posts in the Gaelic Athletic Association. He held this position until 1973. In the mid-1980s Murphy returned as Chairman of the Cork County Board.

In 2005 Murphy was a delegate at the GAA's annual congress when the controversial Rule 42 was debated. Murphy was one of the most vocal opponents and campaigned to keep Croke Park closed to soccer and rugby.

President of the GAA

In 1976 Murphy became President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, a role which he held until 1978. During his three-year term as President there were many significant developments, such as the official opening of the 50,000-seat Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork in 1976, which he played a big part in the construction of. He also campaigned to the British government on the behalf of Crossmaglen Rangers, whose pitch had been occupied by the British army. During his tenure as President Murphy also had the privilege of presenting the Liam MacCarthy Cup to three different Cork men in succession as Cork completed a famous three-in-a-row of All-Ireland hurling victories.

Personal life

Born in Toureen, a few miles on the Cork side of Innishannon, Murphy was the eldest of seven children, four boys and three girls. From an early age he took a great interest in Gaelic games, particularly since his uncle Seán McCarthy, his mother’s brother, was GAA president from 1932 to 1935.

Murphy was educated at the local national school and later attended the North Monastery in Cork. He later joined the Southern Health Board and served in various grades and positions until he retired from the position of Senior Executive Officer in 1983. After this he started a private business which he operated very successfully until his retirement in 1998. Murphy was also named as a member of the RTÉ Authority and in 1995 he was made a Freeman of the City of Cork.

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