It’s been many years ago now since a few of us as teenagers, met up at Frank Murphy’s house in Monadrishane and stood around the harmonium.
With Frank in ‘the driving seat’, ‘Whispering Hope’ was a regular number as we took turns to sing the melody or trying to perfect the harmony – an effort that didn’t always work out as it should.
But instead of frustration or annoyance at the failed attempt at perfection, more often than not, the attempt finished up with a bout of laughter.
The possessor of a beautiful singing voice, Frank was a member of the church choir in Kilworth and those of us who knew the talent he had, always wished he would have taken up the position of organist, particularly when the great Liam de Norraidh retired from the position. Frank however, seemed to underestimate that talent – more was the pity.
For many years, Frank was a stalwart of Kilworth Dramatic Society and regardless of how pressurised rehearsals might be or how nervous one was on the night of a performance, Frank was the one who helped to lighten the prevailing mood – if not with a word of encouragement, then one his many jokes usually did the trick.
What great fun he was when we had a night out to celebrate when another show was successfully put to bed. His mimicry of the late Christy Hennessy (or whoever he chose) was simply hilarious – another strand to his many talents.
His years serving the public at Murphy’s Dagenite in Fermoy’s MacCurtain Street did not go unnoticed by all those with whom he came in contact. Always affable and approachable, Frank was there to serve his customers and to help in any way he could, regardless of the time on the clock.
I always found that when I left Frank Murphy’s company, I did so with a smile on my face. I have no doubt, but the angels smiled when they saw Frank approach the pearly gates.
While Frank may not have been out and about as much in the past year or more, it was with shock and sadness the news of his death was received by the people of Kilworth and further afield on Tuesday morning of last week.
Frank’s popularity was evidenced by the large crowd who called to pay their respects as he lay in repose in Martin Neligan’s Funeral Home on Thursday night and later, at his reception into St Martin’s Church. Following Requiem Mass on Friday, Frank was laid to rest in Kilcrumper New Cemetery. May the sod rest lightly on his gentle soul.
He will be greatly missed by his niece, Kathleen, her husband John and family who welcomed Frank to their home on a daily basis. We extend to them, along with his relatives, neighbours and friends, our deepest sympathy.