The Late Josie Murray RIP
It is with sadness and regret, not alone in Carrick-on –Shannon, but throughout Leitrim and indeed much further afield, that we learn of the passing the footballing legend Josie Murray. After a short illness, borne with great tolerance and dignity, Josie lost his battle with life on this morning (Thursday) at his home surrounded by his family and friends. Born in 1938 he attended The Presentation Brothers National School where his natural athletic ability was quickly identified and nourished. He represented St. Marys at every level and was a member of their first winning county championship team in 1958 wearing the number 6 jersey. He added his second county medal sixteen years later when he played at corner back with Sheemore Gaels, an amalgamation of St. Marys, Kiltubrid and Fenagh. He too won numerous hurling championship medals with St Marys as he was also a talented hurler and played on the county hurling team over many years.
While his achievements with his local club are well documented it is with his beloved Leitrim that Josie will be best remembered. He captained the famous Leitrim minor team that won the Connacht championship in 1956 and gave a heroic display at his customary centre half back position in losing to Dublin in the All Ireland final. He quickly moved on to the senior panel and was an integral part of the great senior county team that was defeated in the Connacht finals of 1958,59,60, and 61. He represented Connacht and was unfortunately on the losing teams of 1961, 63, 64 and 65 on St. Patricks Day. In recognition of his talent and skill he was chosen as centre half back on the Leitrim team of the Millennium.
On finishing school Josie commenced employment with local firm John Gilmartin and later moved to New York where he played football for Leitrim while working there. Josie and his beloved wife Evelyn moved back to Ireland to raise their family and Josie moved to Dublin and commenced working with Bus Eireann, quickly moving to the rank of Inspector. While in Dublin he was an avid supporter of all things Leitrim and was a founding member of the Leitrim Golf Classic and the Dublin Branch of the Leitrim Supporters Club helping in no small way in the efforts towards raising funds to promote the fortunes of all Leitrim teams. Indeed only last May he was a prime mover of a golf classic in Carrick-on-Shannon to raise funds for the Leitrim Senior Team on the eve of the Connacht Championship and when Tommie Moran compered a great “Up for the Match” night prior to the County Final in the Bush Hotel just last September Josie was one of his guests who reminisced on the St. Marys club over many years and did so with wonderful wit and charm, finishing off his contribution with a great rendering of one of his favourite songs.
Josie’s deep faith was evident from his commitment to the local church. He was always available to prepare for the various celebrations taking place by placing bunting and flags suitable for the occasion in the church grounds. He was also a Chairperson of the Church Finance Committee.
To his wife Evelyn, sons Declan, Niall and Keith, brothers Johnny and Seamus, and to his extended family all Leitrim Gaels extend their heartfelt sympathies.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis
12-Feb-15 by Leitrim GAA