It was with great sadness that Turloughmore Hurling club learned of the passing of Phelim Murphy. He was simply a Turloughmore and a Galway hurling legend. If you judge a man by what he leaves after him, then his legacy will pass the test of time.
When someone is known by their first name, as Phelim invariably was, then their status in life is assured. His input, guidance, hard graft, planning and expertise helped so much to develop his beloved Turloughmore Hurling Club and, in later years, Galway hurling would blossom under his stewardship.
Phelim Murphy became Chairman of Turloughmore Hurling Club in 1961 and under his leadership turloughmore recorded the historic six-in-a-row Galway senior championship titles from 1961 to 1966.
The famed Turloughmore Carnival was the brainchild of Phelim and Frank Fahy, when they needed funds to bring players back from England.
Phelim became a member of Galway Hurling Board when it was set up in 1971. The idea to form a Hurling Board was soon to pay rich dividends. The year after Galway captured the All-Ireland U21 title in 1972 and Phelim was a selector. Phelim was also a selector in further All-Ireland U21 successes in 1978 and 1983.
A National Hurling League title arrived in 1975 and that year galway reached their first All-Ireland Senior Hurling final since 1958. A new dawn was unfolding in galway hurling and in 1980 Galway won the All-Ireland senior hurling title for the first time in fifty seven years.
In 1981 Phelim Murphy took up the position as Assistant Secretary of Galway hurling Board, and a year later as secretary.
Once Phelim took up office, he presided over a glorious period. Galway played its eight All-Ireland Senior finals during his tenure and won two in 1987 and 1988 – he was a selector during that glorious era.
Galway captured six All-ireland minor hurling titles, added a further five All Ireland U21 titles, as well as an All-Ireland junior title and two All-Ireland Intermediate titles. Connacht also won eight Railway Cup titles – ultimately during his term as Secretary of Galway Hurling Board, Galway won All-Ireland Titles at every level. He stepped down as Secretary at the end of 2004.
Phelim also served a three-year term as President of Connacht Council that also saw him become Vice-President of the Gaelic Athletic Association. He also served on the various committees at local and ntional level inclucing Hurling Development, GAC and Management Committee at Croke Park.
However Phelim will look back on his work leading a development at Kenny Park, Athenry, as among his main achievements. His appetite for work was also reflected on his dedication and commitment to the GAA in later years.
Everyone in the Turloughmore Hurling and Camogie Clubs would like to extend sincere sympathy to Nelli and all the Murphy family on their sad loss. We will never see his likes again.
As a mark of respect to the Murphy family on Phelim Murphy’s sad passing, the Senior League final between turloughmore and Loughrea, which was due to be played on Sunday will now be played this (Thursday) evening at 7pm in Kenny Park, Athenry.