Thursday 21 February 2019

Community news: Charleville

Congratulations to Milford, Charleville native Anna Geary, who along with her dancing partner Kai, danced their way to the quarter-final of the RTE One television show Dancing with the Stars on last Sunday night.

The former Cork Camogie star and columnist for the weekly Corkman newspaper and her partner has thrilled viewers and charmed the judges with her dancing prowess, which has seen her in the final stages of the competition.

No stranger to television, Anna is already a household name as a team leader in the reality show, 'Irelands' Fittest Family,' and as a sports pundit, mainly for Camogie and G.A.A. affairs. She has four All-Ireland medals won with Cork Camogie team and four All-Star awards, as well as three All-Ireland Club medals won with her North Cork club, Milford.

She also has numerous All-Ireland Schools Camogie medals won with St. Mary's Secondary School Charleville, where she received her Secondary education.

Anna and Olympic medallist Rob Heffernan are both keeping the flag flying for Cork in the competition and are deserving of every support from all Cork people everywhere. So, when the time comes for voting on next Sunday night, make sure that you vote for Anna Geary and Kai to send them to the semi-final of the popular dance competition.

Obituary: Tony Murphy, R.I.P.

The death of Charleville man James A (Tony) Murphy, which occurred at his residence at Smith's Road, Charleville, evoked widespread regret in the town and beyond, especially among the golfing fraternity, where he was a well known and distinguished golfer and gifted administrator.

A member of a well-known and highly respected and popular local family, the late Tony attended C.B.S. Primary and Secondary Schools in Charleville, before going on to University College Cork, from where he graduated with BA Degree in Mathematics and Latin.

He taught for a period in Gorey, Co. Wexford before returning to his old Alma Mater in Charleville, and he remained there until he retired in 2009.

He was a brilliant teacher of mathematics and Latin, and when Latin was phased out of the curriculum, he became a specialist maths teacher, and was elevated to the position of Vice-Principal of the C.B.S. in the late eighties.

A brilliant hurler, Tony began his playing career with Charleville C.B.S., and then went on to play with the local Sean Clarach team that won the North Cork Minor Championship in 1952. He also played outstanding games at higher grades with the Rathluirc team.

He entered U.C.C. in 1953 and while there Tony was an automatic choice for the College hurling team in 1957/58/59, playing in goal. He won three Fitzgibbon Cup medals with the College and captained the side to victory in 1956.

He gave splendid displays of goal-keeping against such vaunted opposition as Christy Ring of Glen Rovers, along with Joe Hartnett, Eamon Goulding and Johnny Clifford, as well as Paddy Barry and Liam Dowling of Sarsfields.

He was on the College team that contested their first ever Cork County Senior Hurling Championship final in 1957, where again he played in goal.

At Charleville C.B.S. he was involved in coaching the school teams and he along with the late Sean Jones coached the Charleville C.B.S team that won the All-Ireland 'B' Colleges Hurling Championship in 1978.

When his hurling career was over Tony took up golf, at which he also excelled and went on to become a single handicap player, playing off of three, at Charleville Golf Club. He took over as secretary of the club in 1963 and held that position for the next 44 years, the longest serving golf club secretary in Ireland.

This fact was recognised by the GUI when he retired from the position in 2008, when the then chairman of the Munster branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland, Sean McMahon, unveiled a portrait of Tony in the Charleville Golf Clubhouse. He also had a green named in his honour in recognition of his work for, and dedication to Charleville Golf Club.

During his tenure of office, he saw the club prosper and grow, the facilities going from nine holes to 12, then to 18 and finally to 27 holes, to become one of the finest parklands course in the country.

The crowning accolade came in 2007 when Charleville was named in the top one hundred clubs in Ireland.

He received a People of the Year Award in recognition of his service to the club in 2008 from Charleville Chamber of Commerce.

There was a large and representative attendance at the removal of his remains to Holy Cross Church and subsequent interment at Holy Cross Cemetery. He was predeceased by his brother, Rev. David Canon Murphy, Carlisle, U.K., and his sister Sheila.

The late Tony is survived by his widow Rita, sister Peg O'Connor, Charleville and his niece Anne-Marie Tyne and her husband Dom and a large circle of friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dhilis.

Charleville and the cruit

Charleville has had a long association with the ancient musical instrument the harp, or in the Irish language the Cruit, going back to the time of Sean Clárach Mac Domhnaill, the Jacobite poet who was born in nearby Churchtown, but spent most of his adult life in Charleville.

Sean Clárach died in 1754 in Charleville, known to him as an Ráth, and is buried in the town's Holy Cross Cemetery.

Sean Clárach was reputed to have had a farm, with his wife Agnes Whyte, in Kiltoohig, just west of Charleville, and here he held the Bardic Court, as Chief Poet of Munster. This was a great fathering of poets and musicians, and among them the harpers of the time. These courts of poetry were also held in Bruree, which became the main venue just over the border in Co. Limerick, until 1746, before finally moving to Croom, the home of the poet Séan Ó Tuama.

He, along with Aindreas Mac Craith of Kilmallock and Sean Clárach were known as Filí na Máigh.

These conventions of bardic minstrels served to keep alive the music and language of ancient Ireland in the Jacobit in the eighteenth century. That era also gave us harp tunes, set to songs such as Róisín Dubh, Gráinne Mhaol, Droimin Donn Dhílis and Caitlín Ni Houlacháin, which are popular to this day.

It is fitting, therefore, that Craobh An Ráth branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann should currently include the teaching of the harp, Ireland's ancient instrument, to children attending their tuition classes in traditional Irish music at the C.B.S. Primary School, Baker's Road, Charleville.

The classes on the cruit or Irish harp are given by Bruree All-Ireland winning harpist, Anna Sheehan at her home in Bruree, keeping up the tradition of the harp and the Co. Limerick village.