Tuesday 12 December 2017

GAA world mourns loss of Roche and Murphy

The late Mick Roche
The late Mick Roche
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tipperary GAA has been plunged into sadness with the death of legendary hurler Mick Roche who was 73.

Often described by his former colleague Michael 'Babs' Keating as the game's greatest centre-back, Roche was a towering figure for Tipperary as a midfielder during their 1964 and '65 All-Ireland final wins but delivered some of his greatest performances in the No 6 shirt, most notably the first half of the 1968 All-Ireland final against Wexford and the Munster final against Limerick in 1971.

A native of Carrick-on-Suir, he was named an All-Star that year as Tipperary swept to All-Ireland final victory over Kilkenny when again he was pivotal when switching to midfield for that second half.

Meanwhile, tributes have also been paid to Danny Murphy, the former Ulster Council secretary, who died yesterday after a long illness. He held the role as secretary of the provincial body for 16 years up to this summer, having previously been chairman of Down County Board in the early 1990s when they re-emerged as a force.

Former Down football manager Peter McGrath paid tribute to Murphy who was also a selector when they won the All-Ireland title in 1994. "Danny was a notoriously straight man, he told it as it was and if you were looking for any deviation from what should be done, what the rule book says, you would not get it from him!

"He would enlighten you, inform you and encourage you but wasn't looking for back doors or easy options," said McGrath.

A skilled administrator, he was a member of the Ulster Council since 1981, serving as treasurer before taking over as secretary in 1998 where he developed a reputation for inclusivity and bridge-building across the communities of Northern Ireland.

Irish Independent

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