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Hurling legend Martin Codd is laid to rest in Rathnure

HUNDREDS of mourners attended the Church of St. Anne in Rathnure on Sunday morning last for the Funeral Mass of Wexford hurling legend, Martin Codd.Martin, aged 78, a member of the great Wexford hurling team of 1955 and 1956 died peacefully in his home in the early hours of Friday morning after a short illness which was borne with dignity and courage.

HUNDREDS of mourners attended the Church of St. Anne in Rathnure on Sunday morning last for the Funeral Mass of Wexford hurling legend, Martin Codd.

Martin, aged 78, a member of the great Wexford hurling team of 1955 and 1956 died peacefully in his home in the early hours of Friday morning after a short illness which was borne with dignity and courage.

While Martin was a respected and loveable member of that great Wexford hurling era he also had commanded great respect across the musical world for he was also a professional singer with the Herdsmen Showband for some seven years, while he was also a regular attender at the various Fleadh competitions, both local, provincial and national.

Martin worked as a farmer but it was on the hurling fields that he first came to prominence. His love of hurling and everything Irish spread right through his family, with his sons, daughters and grand-children carrying on his proud traditions at both club and inter-county level.

A hardworking and dedicated man, his first love was his wife Kitty, and his six sons and three daughters, while he also took great pride in the achievements of his grand-children, being particularly proud of the hurling exploits of his grandson, Paul Codd, both with Rathnure and Wexford.

Having come to prominence with Rathnure, Martin's inter-county career began way back in 1949. He enjoyed a lengthy spell with the Wexford hurlers but his proudest moment was when he lined out at centre-forward on the winning 1956 Wexford All-Ireland side who defeated Cork in that memorable final. He was also a substitute on the 1955 All-Ireland winning side, two medals he coveted until his final day. His success with Wexford did not end there for he also won National League and Oireachtas medals with the county, while he also had the honour of playing with Leinster in the Railway Cup inter-provincial hurling competitions, which during that period attracted crowds of more than 50,000 to Croke Park for the finals.

His passion for hurling was not confined to the inter-county fields throughout Ireland, but he took great pride in representing his club Rathnure, whom he helped to great success, winning three county senior hurling titles with the club, 1950, 1955 and when captain in 1952.

Although hurling was his first love Martin also spoke passionately about football. While his career may have revolved around hurling he also captained Rathnure to a county senior football title in 1952.

When his playing days ended Martin was a regular supporter of Wexford teams whether in Croke Park or another provincial venues, while he was also a proud supporter of his beloved Rathnure, and took great pride in their achievements on the hurling fields at county level, and also particularly their success at Provincial and All-Ireland Club level. More recently Martin went into print with a book on those glorious years of Wexford hurling in the 1950's.

Having put a marvellous hurling career behind him, Martin decided to take to the roads with the popular Herdsmen Showband, that also included his son, Martin, jnr. The band played professionally on the roads from 1969 taking in some seven years when they played at all the leading venues throughout the country.

The popular Martin won over a huge audience appeal, a cult that was later to follow him to Fleadh Cheoil competitions throughout the country in the intervening years. When attending Fleadhanna events Martin had a huge following as he played at several venues, while up to recently he also played at concerts, which in turn led to the making of several CDs in recent years.

During his professional playing career, one of Martin's and the band's biggest hits 'Whisper Your Mother's Name' was in the Irish charts for some time, while more recently he recorded Cuchulainn's Son'.

Just two days before his death in a pre-recorded RTE programme on the All-Ireland Fleadhanna, Martin was featured on the programme, a moment that is to be cherished by his loving family.

There was a large attendance at the removal of the remains to St. Anne's Church in Rathnure. His funeral Mass on Sunday morning, celebrated by Fr. Tony O'Connell, P.P. and his brother, Fr. Pat Codd, was also attended by a number of other clergy, while also Gaels from throughout Wexford and the country attended.

A guard of honour was provided by members of the Rathnure G.A.A. Club, Seana Gael and Wexford G.A.A. Interment took place in the adjoining cemetery.

Martin is survived by his wife, Kitty, six sons, Martin, jnr., Mike, Pat, John, Austin, Kevin; three daughters, Agnes, Mary, Jackie; Mrs Rita Reddy (sister); along with five brothers, Markey, Fr. Pat, Vincent, John and Tom; nieces, nephews, grand-children, great grand-children, relatives and friends.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

Brendan Furlong




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