The untimely death of Johnny Murphy, Glencommon, Owning, Co. Kilkenny aged 92 years brought much sadness to his family, relative’s neighbours and friends. Johnny was born on 20th April 1920 in his family home in Glencommon, Owning. He was born and raised there. Johnny farmed the land that he loved so much on the hill of Glencommon all his life, until his unfortunate death on 6th February 2013. He was one of the oldest surviving citizens in the locality.
Johnny’s parents John & Ellen Murphy from Killarney, Co. Kerry moved to Glencommon, Owning, Co. Kilkenny in 1915. Farming was a hard life then but they brought up a large family. They farmed cattle and sheep back in those days. In his youth, he played football with local clubs and he always kept that interest in football, hurling and local events. He had a great interest in tug-o-war events, which were very popular years ago.
Johnny was a tall, slight man and worked hard all his life. Card games were another of his pastimes and of course his greatest love would be dancing, and he was noted for being great at dancing The Lancers (A popular traditional dance). He travelled around in those days to dance boards and dance platforms in the area.
His socialising was done mainly at Moloneys of Skough and Anthony’s of Owning, where he loved to chat and converse with people and to share stories from his long and remarkable life. He also kept himself up to date with the outside world by reading the papers and tuning into TV and radio. Having come from a time long before luxuries, Johnny got used to the media and thought it was great to be able to keep up with World events, as news travels so fast these days.
Johnny had a great love for animals and nature, he always respected and cared for the animals and had pets up to his dying day, including cats and dogs and an old favourite of his ‘Betsy’, an old mule that he had for many years. In fact, he loved the simple things in life and was a man of the land.
Johnny married Bridget Ryan from Kilrossanty and she passed away in 1998, having no direct family Johnny lived alone since then, but had regular visits from his family members and relatives. In recent years he got some excellent care from the home help team at HSE Eileen, Trish and John Coyne, nicknamed by the late Johnny as (The Callan Lad) who all called to him every day with meals and to ensure his needs were met.
Johnny farmed all his life on the hillside farm overlooking the Suir Valley that he knew so well, he never asked to travel or go any place far from home. He loved his home and was very happy there to the end.
His body was waked at the home of his nephew, Mark Murphy and his wife Jayne and family, who live a short distance from the late Johnny’s home. The funeral was to St Nicholas’ Church Tullahought where a large and representative number of mourners were present. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Fr. Flavin P.P. Windgap. On the following day the requiem mass was celebrated by Fr. Flavin, during the mass the readings were by Danny Murphy, nephew & Kay Brennan, Neice in Law.
The prayers of the faithful were recited by Noel Murphy, Pat O’Connor, Ashling O’Brien and Maureen Maher.
The gifts were carried by Peter Costello, Noel Breen, Jayne Murphy and Jack Thomas Murphy. During the mass Johnny’s Neices Leeann and Bronagh Murphy sang some personal hymns and songs accompanied by his Nephew Mark Murphy on guitar. Mark Murphy also spoke some heartfelt words about the long life he led, sharing some stories and told of the unique personality Johnny had, that will be how we will remember him. At the end of mass and as the coffin was being carried to it’s final resting place Johnny’s Nephew Freddie Murphy sang a lovely version of ‘The Town I loved so well’ as the large number of mourners spilled out into the cemetery.
The late Johnny Murphy, Glencommon is survived by his brother Mick Murphy and his wife Mary. His late brother Jimmy’s wife Mary Murphy, Ballygiffin, Kilmacow. He was brother of the late Danny, Bridie, Jimmy, Nelly, Patsy, Mary, Kitty and Elizabeth. Johnny is also survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
His passing has caused a void in the community, Johnny was a mine of knowledge on local and National events, and he had an excellent memory up to his last day. Our deepest sympathy to his family, neighbours and friends on their sad loss. May Johnny rest in peace.
Johnny’s months mind will be on 10th March 2013 at Tullahought Church at 9am, all welcome.
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