Sunday 25 February 2018

Kerry All Star Paul Murphy caught a helicopter to club game last weekend

Kerry's Paul Murphy
Kerry's Paul Murphy

Murt Murphy

Rathmore were forced to fly in one of their top players by helicopter on Saturday last, 20 minutes before the throw–in of their East Kerry SFC semi-final meeting with Kilcummin at Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

The player was 2014 All-Star and 2014 All-Ireland final man-of-the-match Paul Murphy and the club thought it worthwhile and the expensive taxi ride to Killarney was worth it, as Murphy proved the pivotal figure in Rathmore’s two point win.

The 24-year-old was doing an accountancy exam at the Bishopstown GAA Complex on Saturday morning which was not due to finish until 1pm so desperate action was called for.

Paul’s dad Donal, the Rathmore club chairman said: “We had to have Paul obviously on board for our semi-final against Kilcummin and we also had corner back Conor Jenkins  doing an exam in CIT on Saturday morning.

"So we decided that hiring a helicopter was our only option. We hired one from Galway and fortunately the pilot was Liam Warren, a Rathmore native. It was a delicate operation in terms of timing as the helicopter could not land on the Bishopstown GAA Pitch, until the exams were over.

"Paul was not allowed out until 1.20pm but thanks to the Bishopstown club chairman, the helicopter was up and gone within a few minutes."

"It landed 30 minutes later on the Dr Crokes Pitch in Lewis Rd and both Paul and Conor were quite relaxed as they made the short journey across the road to their teammates in the dressing-room.

"Paul was eating a banana and drinking water and both lads warmed up and did their stretching on the floor of the dressing room as Denis Moynihan was delivering his team talk. It was costly but at the end of the day, we would not have won the semi-final without them, so it was worth it."

Paul Murphy was to emerge man of the match, lining out on the forty, scoring 1-3 from play, as Rathmore edged home on a scoreline of 3-10 to 1-14.

The Rathmore chairman explained that panel member, Michael O’Mahony was stranded in Limerick last Saturday doing exams, while former Kerry minor Donal O’Sullivan was exam tied in Edinburgh last Saturday but both should be available for the decider against Killarney this weekend.

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