Remembering Colm Murray
A chara, – As a Galwegian living in Dublin I unfortunately missed many Galway Race meetings over the years, however I never failed to watch Colm Murray’s Six One news updates live from the Ballybrit race course.
I don’t follow horse racing, but I loved the infectious enthusiasm and passion of his reports and his ability to easily transport the fantastic atmosphere through the TV for the few minutes of his daily reports. I never met Colm in person, but I will certainly miss him. He is a huge loss, RIP. – Is mise,
Rathgar, Dublin 6.
Sir, – I can’t put an exact date on it. It must have been around the turn of the century, 1999 or 2000. I was just about long enough in Fair City to be recognised by members of the public. I was also beginning to realise that many people in the world of TV and “celebrity” could make you feel like a bit of a trespasser, who hadn’t yet earned your full stripes, if indeed you ever would. Colm Murray was not one of those people.
As a fan of racing, from Ballinrobe, I knew Colm Murray very well as a racing commentator. In 1999/2000 my kids were about 10 and seven. We had taken them to the races in Galway, a meeting I rarely missed as a child. It was part of our holidays, so after the races, we treated ourselves to dinner in a packed Blake’s Restaurant at the bottom of Quay Street. As we waited for a table to become available, Colm was leaving, having already dined. I’m not sure who said hello first, probably Colm, but an instant conversation struck up. Being a strong family man, he was immediately taken with our kids and then keenly interested in how many winners we had had, if any. He had his own tales of near misses and a big winner in the bumper that redeemed him for the day.
He then made a point of telling me what a good job I was doing, handed my daughter a tenner for herself and her brother and a tip for the next day’s racing, smiling that broad, impish smile of his as he left. I would later meet him frequently at race meetings after I persuaded the cast of Fair City to invest in a horse that alas is “still running” as they say. Colm was always smiling. He was always interested in how we were getting on. He would always ask after “the family”. He always had a tip. He was a lovely, generous man.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. – Yours, etc,
Knocklyon, Dublin 16.