THE community of Castlebridge was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Barney Murphy of Como Lodge, Castlebridge. A stalwart of the local community, he was known to all in the area as a friendly face behind the bar of the family pub ‘Barney’s’ in the village for nearly forty years.
A successful businessman with a keen eye for detail, Barney's experience in the trade saw him take on roles within the Vintners Federation of Ireland, eventually progressing to the rank of President. He was also a familiar face at Wexford Racecourse, managing the bar facilities there on race days for some 50 years.
It wasn't just the pub trade that Barney busied himself with though. He also founded successful poultry firm Castlebrand Eggs, as well as being one of the first music managers in Wexford.
Quick-witted and always up for a chat, Barney was an immensely popular figure and was a great believer in the power of community. He took a great interest in all his local clubs and organisations and was an honoured trustee of Shelmaliers GAA Club. He was also the President of the Castlebridge Show for a number of years and he and his late wife Margaret were among its biggest supporters.
The show committee described him as “a kind and caring gentleman, who always had time to stop for a little chat when out for his walk. He was a pillar of the Castlebridge community and will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
Family meant a great deal to Barney. He and his beloved Margaret welcomed seven children – Jackie, Sandra, Barry, Claire, Orlagh, Sile and Padraig – and they were his pride and joy.
Speaking at the poignant funeral service at St Ibar's Church in Castlebridge on Monday, Barry described his father as “a colossus”.
“I've never heard the words gentleman and generosity used as many times as in the last few days,” he said. “Dad instilled in all of us the essence of family values, loyalty and respect, which was always seen in our home. Dad always told us to be proud of where you come from, as he himself had immense pride in his beloved Castlebridge.”
It was noted that Barney and Margaret's purchase of Como Lodge in the 70s was an extremely proud moment for them and their home was "their pride and joy”. What mattered most though, was the people that filled it – Barney’s 7 children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, each of whom he had his own unique bond with.
“He was a loving Dad, grandad, brother and son,” Barry said. “He was always there to offer advice and encouragement, keeping us well grounded and never allowing us to feel sorry for ourselves, telling us to get on with things.
“He was a proud, honest and pragmatic gentleman and a loving father who we were all privileged to have as a Dad.”
After a moving funeral mass, Barney was laid to rest in Castlebridge Cemetery. May he rest in peace.