Padraig Pearses GAA Club members are mourning the loss of club vice-president, Fr Nicholas Murray.
The 73-years-old Ballymacward native was regarded as one of the county’s outstanding athletes, excelling at several sports during his career.
Educated at Esker National School, Ballymacward, Garbally Collge, and St Columban’s Seminary in Co Meath, where he was ordained in 1962, Fr Murray first came to prominence as a colleges sportsman, playing hurling, handball, football and rugby. Later he played minor and junior hurling for his local club in Ballymacward.
He played county minor hurling for Galway in the Connacht Championships of 1955 and 1956, winning provincial minor medals in both finals, while he also won a Connacht Junior Hurling Championship medal in 1956. He was on the 1956 Connacht Cup-winning rugby team with Garbally and played for Connacht, while he also played minor football with Galway in 1956 and senior hurling for both Galway and Connacht in the late fifties and early sixties, alongside the late great Joe Salmon.
Later in his career, he received special permission to play senior hurling with Fohenagh, an ajoining parish, winning senior county medals playing at midfield in 1959 and 1960.
After being ordained, he was assigned by the Columban Fathers to their mission in the Philipines and when he returned home seven years later, he immediately commenced training with Padraig Pearses GAA Club, which had only been formed in 1966.
He played a major role in the 1969 championship when Pearses won its first East Board Senior Championship. After another mission to the Philippines, he played junior hurling with Pearses.
Padraig Pearses GAA Club, along with the people of Ballymacward and Gurteen and the GAA community throughout County Galway are deeply saddened by his untimely passing and express their sympathy to the Murray family on the death of a special and unique person.
Ar dheis lamh De go raibh se.