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Club mourns tragic death of garda lawyer from CJD

THE chairman of one of the country's most prominent GAA clubs has died from Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD).

Father-of-four Tom Murphy, pictured, chairman of Kilmacud Crokes in south Dublin, died late on Friday night just weeks after developing the rare disease.

He is survived by his wife Katrina, daughters Nicola and Bronagh, sons Sean and James, parents Tommy and Christina, and his brothers and sisters.

He passed away surrounded by family in St James's Hospital.

A spokesman for the club confirmed last night that Mr Murphy died following a short illness and said his death had caused shock among members.

"It is a devastating loss. He was very, very well liked. People are very shocked and upset," he said.

Mr Murphy, who was in his early 50s, was a solicitor and partner in the city centre practice of Hughes Murphy & Company since 1987.

He often acted on behalf of the Garda Representative Association and advised the organisation throughout the passing of legislation for the establishment of the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

He was originally from Sligo, where his family are heavily involved in Tubbercurry GAA club and his brother was chairman of the Sligo County Board.

He had been chairman of Kilmacud Crokes for the last two years, but had been involved at a parental level for many years, with his sons playing at both minor and senior level.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday after 10am Mass at the Church of St Therese in Mount Merrion.

Plans for a club tribute at the funeral are currently being finalised.

Some club fixtures were postponed over the weekend as a mark of respect. However, the 40th annual Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland Hurling Sevens competition went ahead as planned on Saturday.

The club's hurling chairman, Peter Walsh, paid tribute to Mr Murphy while addressing the teams following the event.

"Even as we celebrate this great competition, today we do so with some sadness due to the untimely death of our club chairman Tom Murphy very late on Friday night.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time," he said.

Earlier, there had been a minute's silence during coaching sessions for the club's youngsters.

CJD is a rare and fatal condition that affects the brain and causes worsening brain damage over time. It affects one in every two million people annually.

The disease came to prominence in the 1990s following the discovery of a new variant linked to mad cow disease.

Irish Independent