Five days after I interviewed J.D. Murphy for a programme on Community Radio Kilkenny City, I was dumbfounded to hear that he had passed away, writes Barrie Henriques.
For 45 minutes we were in gripping form discussing sport, characters, players good and shocking, games of every description and much more. He spoke of the Mayfair Ballroom. He mentioned Eire Og hurling (“the greatest hurling club on the planet”).
Anecdotal one-liners tripped off his tongue like fresh cream melting over caramelised strawberries. J.D. certainly could tell them all right.
His nephew Billy Walsh told one about J.D. that I feel is worth the telling.
Everyone knows that J.D’s fixation with proper dress for any occasion, even going down the street for a jar was nearly paranoid.
Jim and a friend went West to play the West of Ireland at Roses Point. Both were knocked out early, so they decided to return to their hotel and go on a bit of a batter.
“Lets get wrote off,” said his friend as they arrived in the hotel lobby.
“No. We will go up and shower, change into our good clothes, come down, have dinner in the restaurant and then get p****d.”
One hour later they were in the restaurant, placed an order, had two glasses of a Beaujolais in front of them. Both were in pristine condition.
An unfortunate waitress, carrying a tray of soup bowls to another table, accidentally tripped, landing a few of the soup-filled vessles on top of the two gentlemen. The waitress was mortified and apologised profusely.
J.D. being the gentleman he was (terrible to be talking in the past tense) assured the girl that no harm was done, and she certainly would not lose her job.
“Listen girl,” said our gallant Sir Galahad, “I will return to my room, change my clothes and be back down in half an hour.”
The waitress was thrilled that it happened to such a gentleman, who made no fuss.
J.D. returned to the restaurant wearing his golf wet gear and carrying an opened golf umbrella.
Sleep easy my friend. Like good wine, a good golf shot, a Mona Lisa, there can only ever be one original. They threw away the mould that made J.D. Murphy.
The world will be a far poorer place at his passing. If you really need a memory, or a good laugh with J.D. Murphy, tune into 88.7 on Saturday morning between 9 and 10am.