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Friday 20 September 2019

Heartbreak as loving father Mick dies days after birth of his son

The late Michael (Mick) Murphy
The late Michael (Mick) Murphy

David Looby

The community has been rocked by the sudden death of 43-year-old father-of-six Michael (Mick) Murphy, who fell gravely ill the day his newborn son arrived at their family home.

Late of Ballinabarna, Mick was raised by his mother Kathleen. He attended The Rower NS and CBS secondary school, and lined out for The Rower/Inistioge GAA Club.

After school Mick did an apprenticeship in Steele's New Ross in welding and fabrication.

His talents at welding were recognised when he came second in the Young Welder of the Year competition. Mick's talents saw him branch out into specialist welding work, including mirror welding inside boilers and over the years his skills saw him work throughout the country. He worked for FÁS as an instructor and many of his former students turned out at his funeral where they commented to his family about how supportive he was to them.

Trisha said: 'He would make work (for them) when there was none. He would always find an answer to a problem in a really positive way. No was a word that was never in his vocabulary. He loved his job and was very meticulous about it. Everything was done to perfection.'

Mick worked at power stations when there were shut-downs, doing repairs. His latest job saw him working on the oil refinery in Cork.

Mick met Trisha, a Tipperary woman, in Cork. When she moved to England he sent flowers and cards over to her regularly. 'He was the real romantic. A real charmer. He had such a way of getting around people and he always got his way.'

Mick followed Trisha over to England, but the call of home was strong and they eventually setted in Tramore, as Trisha was working in Waterford at the time. Mick never settled in the seaside town and longed to return to The Rower. 'He was a real country man at heart. He was the happiest man ever when we decided to move back to the country,' Trisha said.

They were married in Rome in 2002 and welcomed their first-born James into the family in 2003. Eoin, Michael, Patrick and Mary followed.

Trisha said Mick was the best father and husband any woman could wish for. 'He was just amazing. He was better than me for the night feeds. He would get up at all hours even though he was very busy at work. He never complained and was always so positive. He had all he needed and just wanted to be at home with his family or out with James tending to the sheep.'

Mick was thrilled when his children started playing hurling and was a constant presence on the sidelines cheering them on. 'He would give them advice and was really great when Mary was born. She was his pride and joy; he was just so proud of all of them. He just wanted to be there for everything they were doing. Mick was our support and our rock; we can't believe he is gone; it's so unfair. He had so much he wanted to do and pass on to them.'

Being an only child, Mick had a great empathy for children and planned to raise money for Mary's Meals, a charity which provides meals to school-going children. He was going to walk part of the Camino Way with his eldest sons but sadly this wasn't to be. €1,500 was raised at his funeral for the charity.

Describing Mick as an ideas man, Trisha said it was hard to keep up with him at times. He was always there for his neighbours and friends. She said Mick put up a giant goals and net at the family home the day before he collapsed. 'He had good health all his life and was a very, very strong man. He said he was a bit tired a few months back. I was putting it down to the long hours he was working in Cork. He was complaining that he had a headache. Anyone could have put it down to stress, but Mick probably didn't tell anyone how bad it was.'

Mick was there in the operating theatre when Trisha had Joseph on Sunday, July 28. 'At least he got to hold him. He was absolutely thrilled; he was beaming and Joseph is so like his Daddy. I said he could have had him himself. He was overjoyed.'

The following day Mick collapsed at his home. James found him and contacted the emergency services and Mick was rushed to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny from where he was transferred to Beaumont Hospital. 'He never regained consciousness. You couldn't make it up. He passed away on Tuesday. He had a smile on his face.'

She said Mick was a man of great faith who always said his rosary. 'Family was everything to him and Mick was part of other people's families in the community too. At his wake the neighbours stayed up with him and you could hear all the stories late into the night. Mick lived life to the full; he managed to fit so much in. The weekend before he died he tore off to the Kilkenny semi-final.'

Trisha thanked everyone in the community for their support, saying: 'The children and I are getting through this together. We have to keep going; that is what he would have wanted.' A massive crowd attended Mick's funeral Mass at the Church of the Assumption, The Rower, where members of The Rower/Inistioge GAA Club stood as guards of honour. His cousin Richard, who was Mick's best man 17 years previously, paid a warm tribute to his late cousin, saying he never thought he'd be giving a eulogy to him 17 years later. Mick was laid to rest afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Mick is survived by his wife Trisha; his children James, Eoin, Michael, Patrick, Mary and Baby Joseph; his mother, Kathleen; uncles Mikey and Richie; aunt Lily; cousins; mother-in-law; father-in-law; sisters-in-law; brothers-in-law; extended family and friends. He was pre-deceased by his uncles Pat and Johnny.

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