Sadness and praise follows death of popular south Armagh man

July 29, 2013

Silverbridge and the wider south Armagh community is mourning the loss of one of its eldest and most respected citizens.

Pat Murphy, from the townland of Carnally, passed away peacefully in Daisy Hill Hospital on Saturday, surrounded by his loving family.

Having reached the ripe age of 94, Pat was well-liked and hugely respected throughout the area.  Until recently the sprightly nonagenarian remained very independent, still driving and continuing to work with his sons in the family firm on a regular basis.  Indeed, his agility and exemplary work ethic put many, a fraction of his age, to shame.  As head of the family’s construction company, he was an integral part of its daily enterprise, overseeing projects with his familiar and easy manner.

Through his self-established building firm, Pat was recognised as a master of his class.  An astute and discerning businessman, he was well-known throughout the country for his professional and industrious work ethic and expected no more from any of his workers than what he was prepared to do himself.

Blessed with a uniquely wry sense of humour, even in his final hours, he had the ability to amuse his family and medical team with his witty and droll quips.

Pat enjoyed a keen interest in books and was a talented composer of poetry, his poems relating to many subjects close to his heart.   One of his first pieces featured the debut concert held by his committee in Lourdes in 1991.

It was through his involvement with the Lourdes Committee that Pat is also particularly well-known.  Having held every committee position throughout the years, he was an active member who inspired many over the years to become involved and support the charity.

During this year’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes in May, he was presented with a special commemorative medal marking his 50th year with the Diocesan pilgrimage.  For all of those years, Pat was actively involved in each pilgrimage as a helper and organizer, his support to the group invaluable.  Indeed his children and many grandchildren are themselves heavily steeped in the Lourdes committee, travelling annually as helpers of the sick.

Pat enjoyed a passion for Gaelic games and had a particular affinity with his local club, Silverbridge Harps.  His association with the club stretches over decades and, regardless of busy or arduous work schedules, Pat and his family have always been extremely obliging and supportive of club activities both on and off the field.

Describing the Murphy family as ‘the backbone’ of Silverbridge Harps GFC, Club Chairman Jarlath Burns paid tribute to Pat’s immense contribution: “Pat Murphy is someone who gave a lifetime of service to Silverbridge football club and to the community in general around the south Armagh area.  He was well-known as a man of great integrity, as are his family who are the backbone of Silverbridge club and have contributed immensely to the life and the infrastructure of the club both on and off the field,” he said.

“He will be sadly missed and at this time all club members are thinking of him and his family and express their deepest condolences.”

Throug-hout the weekend, hundreds passed through the family home to pay their respects to this kind and soft-spoken gentleman whose legacy to Silverbridge is forever embedded in the community.

Requiem Mass was held earlier today (Monday) in St. Brigid’s Church, Glassdrummond, followed by interment in the adjoining graveyard.

Pre-deceased by his wife Maggie in 1996, Pat is survived by his daughter Mary, sons Seamus, Pat, Kevin, Bernard, John, Kieran and Malachy, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren to whom deepest sympathy is extended.