“DEFINITELY a man who knew the GAA inside out!’’ That was the tribute yesterday from Mick Dolan, who completed his three-year term as chairman last December. “Frank was a most helpful man to anybody who was in difficulties and he gave great advice to me and a lot of other people. He will be a huge loss, but time moves on.’’
He also expressed satisfaction that Murphy will leave the position ‘in his own time,’ and that he will be around to offer assistance to the person who will eventually replace him.’’
In terms of the level of personal criticism Murphy was subjected to over the course of the two recent player strikes, he had this to say: “Most of it was totally unfounded. He got a lot of flak which was uncalled for and totally out of line for what the association is all about. I always stood 100% behind him.’’
Former Nemo Rangers stalwart Brian Barrett, who served as Cork chairman from 1997 to 2000 describes Frank Murphy as ‘the best administrator’ he ever came across. “I had a wonderful working relationship with him,’’ he commented. “I know he came in for a lot of very unfair criticism, but he was a ‘toff’ to deal with – very knowledgeable and a great man to give advice.’’
Barrett praised him in particular for the key role he played behind the scenes in the County Board purchasing the Flower Lodge grounds.
“He was a man of great foresight. I deemed it a great privilege to have worked with him.’’
Bob Honohan, known to have cross swords with Murphy once or twice in the early years, agreed that his reign ‘had not been without controversy.’’
A successful U-21 football manager and senior football selector, Honohan has been Cork’s Central Council delegate for the past 22 years.
“When you look at the development of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Páirc Uí Rinn, you can appreciate what he did.
“And, he always kept the finances of the board on a very sound footing.
“Not everybody agreed with his way of doing things, but, one has to say that at the end of the day he owes Cork County Board nothing. With him, Cork was first and last, he always had the interests of the county at heart.
“His going will mark the end of an era and there’s no doubt that he will be hard to replace him.’’
Tony O’Mahony, who took over as Chairman in December 1990 (when Christy Cooney was elected Vice-Chairman), recalled meeting representatives from other counties who were in awe of what Cork had achieved under Murphy’s direction.
“People would have said to me, ‘if we had Frank Murphy we could do it too.’
“That showed the respect they had for him.’’
“You would have to say that Frank has been a tremendous servant of not just the county but the GAA in general. His grasp of the rules was incredible. He was an institution, surely.’’
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