GAA director general Páraic Duffy yesterday paid tribute to Frank Murphy’s contribution to the GAA and added that it would continue for some time yet despite his planned retirement.
“He has clearly made a huge contribution to the GAA in Cork and I would like to acknowledge his huge contribution to the GAA nationally,” said Duffy. “He is the chairman of our Rules Advisory Group and had a major part to play in the re-writing in the current rule book.
“I’m sure he will continue to play a part at local and national level for a period of time and he has just started a three-year term as the Rules Advisory Group chairman and is a member of our stadium executive.
“So, on an ongoing basis, he still has a huge contribution to make at Croke Park level, irrespective of what happens in Cork.”
Murphy’s knowledge of the GAA rule book has become legendary over the years. It has been said that no-one in the entire country possesses an understanding of that weighty tome to equal that of the Cork secretary’s.
“He will be very difficult to replace,” Duffy admitted. “I think he really enjoyed working on the rules. Everybody is replaceable and we will have to replace him but he makes a huge contribution.
“He has done so in the past and will continue to do so. He has probably made a bigger contribution than anybody else in terms of the drafting of the rules.”
Duffy has only been the GAA’s director general for approximately 18 months but his dealings with Murphy go back much longer than that thanks to his time spent as chairman of the old Games Administration Committee (GAC).
Murphy was “a very active” member of the GAC during Duffy’s last year in the role and the two were re-acquainted in much more controversial circumstances in more recent times.
Murphy has served the association in a variety of capacities but, to many people, his name will always be associated with the recent crises involving the county’s senior hurling and football sides.
Duffy was involved in the peace talks on both of those occasions.
“The Cork situation was very difficult for everybody. It certainly affected Frank the same as if affected everybody. It was certainly a tough time. There were no winners in that.
“I have found him fine to deal with and when I got involved everybody was doing their best to resolve the issue and Frank was doing the same as everybody else. He has made a huge contribution.
“I know at times he has been involved, I suppose, in controversial issues but I find him a good person to work with. He is extremely capable, extremely competent and he made a huge contribution to the GAA and will continue to do so.”
Meanwhile, Duffy has revealed that the GAA intends to announce its new line-up of sponsors for the All-Ireland hurling championship before Christmas after recent speculation that RTÉ will not be renewing its involvement. RTÉ, Etihad and Guinness were the three companies to sign up to a two-year sponsorship agreement early last year. That will expire on Sunday evening and negotiations have already begun on the new contracts.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved