Monday 20 November 2017

Sean O'Rourke pays tribute to Colm Murray

Fiach Kelly

BROADCASTER Colm Murray was a man who had "legions of friends and admirers and easily won the confidence of people", according to his RTE colleague and friend Sean O'Rourke.

Mr Murray passed away last night after a three year battle with Motor Neurone Disease and Mr O'Rourke paid tribute to him this afternoon. 

"He brought a sense of curiosity and wonder to his assignments which informed and enlivened his broadcast journalism," Mr O'Rourke, who is attending the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, added.

"Colm Murray was a proud graduate of NUI Galway, and often recalled his student days with affection and no little mirth. He studied in the faculty of   Arts in the 1960s and 70s but in fact Colm was an Everyman, a lifelong student of the ways of the world."

The 'News at One' and 'Week in Politics' presenter also said Mr Murray, though renowned as a sports broadcaster, "was a close follower of political events and would give colleagues the benefit of sound observations on running stories and the players involved -  usually sharp but never cruel".

And he said there was a "certain timeliness" that the horse racing enthusiast passed away during the week of the Galway Races "where his services as a social ringmaster and tipster were greatly enjoyed if not always followed with success".

"Some years ago he encouraged people at a pre-races brunch in the old quadrangle to follow his list of sure things. And then he cautioned hilariously:  'But my final word in this great Aula Maxima where so many distinguished scholars have passed through the hallowed portals is:  Caveat Punter.'

"As a sports broadcaster he reported with knowledge,  flair and enthusiasm from Ballybrit to Beijing."

Mr O'Rourke also said Mr Murray was a "brilliant" official with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), "defusing many an industrial relations row with a mixture of humour, guile and an uncanny sense of timing"

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