The village of Knockcroghery will soon have a fitting memorial to honour its most famous son when a monument of the late Jimmy Murray, captain of the Roscommon senior All-Ireland winning teams of 1943 and 1944, is unveiled. The project was formally launched in Murray’s Bar in Knockcroghery last Friday night.
A large crowd gathered on the night and among the attendance were members of the organising committee, members of the St Dominic’s GAA Club, Roscommon GAA County Board officials, local politicians, community leaders, and local sculptor Mark Feeley, who will create the memorial.
Chairperson of the committee, Thomas Murray, welcomed everyone to the event. He thanked Mark Feeley for taking on the project and said it was great that there was a local man available to do the job. “I have no doubt that – seeing the work Mark has done to date – this will one of his finest pieces”.
“Jimmy Murray or ‘Jamesie’ as we all called him, was born here, lived all his life here, and died here too. He brought great honour and fame to Knockcroghery and was known all over the country and far beyond”.
Mr. Murray of course had the distinction of captaining Roscommon to the county’s two senior All-Ireland wins.
The chairperson of the organising committee said that the idea of erecting a monument to the famous Roscommon man had been discussed many times since Jamesie died in 2007. He and Tommy Fallon arranged a meeting with the Murray family and had received one hundred per cent support from them.
Mr. Murray thanked all who have supported the project to date, including the local Tidy Towns Group and Project Knockcroghery, as well as councillors Laurence Fallon and Donal Kilduff.
Committee Treasurer Cormac McNally said that there would be a significant cost to the project, probably in the region of €70,000. An iDonate account has been set up, as has one in Roscommon Credit Union (to which donations are welcome). He noted that Eddie Miley is organising a Golf Classic, and that Lecarrow Vintage Club are also hosting a fundraiser.
Roscommon County GAA Board Chairperson Brian Carroll said that it was a great honour for him to be associated with the launch.
“It is only right that we should honour one of the most famous Roscommon people that we have ever had. He was a man who will be remembered for generations and is known and respected throughout the country”.
Complimenting the organising committee and its chairperson Thomas Murray, Mr. Carroll said the whole county needs to get behind this project and he would be urging every GAA club to do so.
President of St Dominic’s GAA Club and committee member Tommy Fallon said that the club and the local people were a long time waiting for this project to happen.
“We spent years talking about it but thankfully now it is becoming a reality. Jamesie Murray brought fame and honour to Knockcroghery, St Patrick’s, St Dominic’s, and to Roscommon. I don’t remember seeing him playing (at his peak), but at the end of his career I remember that in the very last club game he played, he came off and I went on as a sub – and that’s my claim to fame!”
Speaking on behalf of the Murray family, John Murray thanked the committee for all their hard work so far. “I want to thank the club and the county board for their support. The family have been very happy to support the project. My father would have been very proud if he was here today”.
Sculptor Mark Feely said he was honoured to have been asked to take on the project. He agreed with a previous speaker that the Lecarrow quarry stone is the “finest quality stone in the country”.
“I want to do justice to this important project. I have a vision for what I want to create. Jimmy Murray was a man of action so I want to show him running and catching the ball. People will just have to be patient but I can assure everyone here tonight that I will give this my absolute best” he concluded.