DANNY MURPHY RIP

dannymurphy

Danny Murphy  Pic. Ulster GAA

DEATH OF GAA ULSTER COUNCIL SECRETARY

Northern Standard  Thursday 8th December

The GAA in Ulster is mourning the loss of the Ulster Council Secretary and Chief Executive Danny Murphy, who died yesterday (Wednesday) at the age of 67. He stood down from his role earlier this year because of ill health but was to remain in the post until February 2017. Mr Murphy’s funeral Mass will take place today Saturday 10th December at 12 noon in St Mary’s Church, Burren, near Newry. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Past President of the Ulster Council Martin McAviney from Ballybay said Danny had acted as a mentor to him in his thirty years’ involvement with the Council. He paid tribute to Mr Murphy who he said was a personal friend and had travelled with him to many places throughout the province on GAA business.

“He was a man of absolute honesty and integrity. He had the foresight to bring the Ulster Council to a whole new level in the sporting world, in areas such as coaching, protection issues and above all his role in the peace process since the signing of the Good Friday agreement in 1998. He was able to bring everyone with him when it came to taking initiatives. His legacy is that there is now a structure in place in Ulster GAA that is fit for purpose in the modern era”, he said.

Mr McAviney said the late Mr Murphy had a good knowledge of legal issues such as ownership of property. He also knew the fine details of the GAA rule book. He continued: “My last duty as President of the Ulster Council was to accompany Danny at the grounds awards last year. He was a guiding light for many people at club level. He was a very fair man, who always did things by getting agreement on them. His belief was that the only way of going forward was to ask people to take ownership of projects”.

The esteem in which he was held by other sports can be judged by the responses from organisations such as Ulster Rugby and the Irish Football Association. Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson said: “I got to know Danny very well and I enjoyed working with him. I was often able to count on his wise counsel.

“He was keen for the various sporting organisations in Northern Ireland to work together to improve facilities for all sports.”

The North’s First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said in a statement: “Danny Murphy made a colossal contribution to sport over many years and his death will leave a massive void. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said: “Danny was a powerful force for reconciliation on the island of Ireland, and between Britain and Ireland. He made an enormous contribution to the professionalism of the GAA in Ulster.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Comhairle Uladh, Michael Hasson said: “It was with profound sadness that we heard of Danny’s passing. We know that this sorrow is felt by all Gaels in Ulster, Ireland and throughout the wider GAA world. Danny was an outstanding leader who provided unstinting dedication to the GAA in Ulster for over 35 years. His contribution to every aspect of the GAA, from his initial involvement with St Mary’s GAC, Burren, his beloved County Down and his immense commitment to Comhairle Uladh brought unprecedented success to every unit of the Association he was involved in.”

 

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MONAGHAN: ULSTER KINGS & QUEENS

Ulster senior champions 2013: Monaghan Picture: RTE Sport www.rte.ie/sport/gaa

Ulster senior champions 2013: Monaghan Picture: RTE Sport http://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa

Seniors & Minors, Men & Ladies: Ulster Champions x 4!

Seniors & Minors, Men & Ladies: Ulster Champions x 4! Photo: Michael Fisher

Monaghan GAA are tops in Ulster: the Kings and Queens of Ulster football, as Monaghan town Mayor Paul McGeown described them. Congratulations to all four Ulster champions: Minor ladies (Muireann O’Rourke); Seniors (Owen Lennon: Anglo-Celt Cup); Senior ladies (Therese McNally: O’Harte Cup) and Minors (Ryan McAnespie: Fr Murray Cup). Five pieces of silverware on display at The Diamond, as the minors had the Ulster Minor League Cup as well! When will we see the likes of that again!

Crow at The Diamond, Monaghan

Crowd at The Diamond, Monaghan Photo: Michael Fisher

ULSTER GAA PRESIDENT

Martin McAviney

Martin McAviney

It’s been an important weekend for the GAA in County Monaghan. First there was confirmation that the new Uachtarán Chomairle Uladh (President of the Ulster Council) is Ballybay man Martin McAviney. Many in the border area and the Press Golf Society will remember the great work done by his late brother John, a photographer.

At the same time, the GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Paraic Duffy was back in Monaghan to attend a gala ball organised by his alma mater, St Macartan’s College, where he was also the Principal for many years. It was celebrating the 100-year history of the GAA in the College, which includes winning the MacRory Cup on nine occasions, but not since 1956 although they have appeared in two finals in the past decade. On Wednesday week (27th February) the “Sem” will take on St Paul’s Bessbrook (Armagh) in the semi-final of the competition under lights in Armagh (7:30pm).

Martin McAviney is a member of the Pearse Brothers club in Ballybay. He is a member of the Club Committee and a Club Trustee. He has previously served as Club Secretary and Club Chairman and received the Coiste Chontae Mhuineachain Senior Official of the year 1984. He joined the Monaghan County Board as Ulster Representative in 1987 and held the position until being elected as P.R.O. of Comhairle Uladh in 2004, a role he carried out very effectively.

During his term as P.R.O., Martin was awarded the Ulster GAA Writers Communications Award in 2005. Martin took up a position of Cisteoir (Treasurer) of the Ulster Council in 2007, and in March 2010, he was elected as Leas-Uachtarán (Vice President). On his first full day in the new job, Martin was at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh to watch the interprovincial hurling and football semi-finals, previously known as the Railway Cup.

The competition was reinstated to the GAA calendar last year, but has failed to attract the support it used to get in the 1950s and 60s when large crowds would turn up at Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day for the finals. The club finals have taken over the slot and continue to bring in the numbers, but it seems the appetite for interprovincial competitions has faded, judging by the attendances at the semis. So the final of the football competition at Croke Park next Sunday has now been fixed to coincide with AIB Club junior final. The hurling final will be a week later.

Joe Kernan

Joe Kernan

HURLING:  MUNSTER 3-20 ULSTER 1-14 

FOOTBALL: ULSTER 1-14 MUNSTER 1-13

Nice to see former Armagh boss Joe Kernan back in action as coach of the Ulster football side. He expressed his concern at the low attendance, given the quality of football on display. Monaghan made an important contribution to the Ulster side with Conor McManus scoring four points. The team was captained by Scotstown’s Darren Hughes, whose brother Kieran came on as a substitute.

Darren Hughes, Ulster

Darren Hughes, Ulster

DR MCKENNA CUP

mckennacuppowerni images

Power NI Dr McKenna Cup competition

Driving back to Belfast tonight along the M1 I saw a strong white light emanating from the direction of the Castleblayney Road near Dundalk. It was the floodlights from  Pairc Grattan at Inniskeen, County Monaghan, a ground which has been developed in recent years to accommodate county team matches. Monaghan were playing neighbours Fermanagh in their third Dr McKenna Cup match in Section A. Victory by 1-12 to 0-07 meant that the home side has qualified for the knock-out stages. Their next opponents will be Down, at the Athletic Grounds Armagh at 2pm on Sunday. I passed Newry as they were seeing off the challenge from their neighbours Armagh by 2-11 to 1-10 in Section B. In other matches, a weakened Donegal side narrowly beat St Mary’s 1-14 to 2-10 and in Section C, Tyrone easily beat UUJ 1-18 to 0-09 and Derry drew 1-13 apiece with Antrim. So the other semi-final on Sunday will see Tyrone meet Fermanagh, the best runner-up.

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Ulster Council GAA

This year there has been controversy over the decision by some county managers to include QUB students in their squads. It has led to the withdrawal of Queen’s University from the competition, as they believed they were being put at a disadvantage. The competition has a very interesting history. The cup is called after a fomer Bishop of Clogher Dr Patrick McKenna from Truagh parish in County Monaghan, who presented it to the Ulster Council of the GAA in 1925. The first competition was in 1927. Monaghan are the most successful side in the tournament with thirteen wins, the last being 2003. Maybe they can make it fourteen this year! For two years, 2001 and 2002, the competition was not held but it was resurrected in 2003. Since 2007 it has been sponsored and the latest company to do so is Power NI, formerly NI Electricity, appropriate now that (as I observed at the start) many of the matches like tonight’s are played under floodlights!

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Monaghan GAA Crest