Remembering Colm Murray


Sir, – It was the early 1970s and young Colm Murray was cutting his teeth as a French teacher in Ballymun Comprehensive School, never famous for being a sedate kind of place, especially the first years.

For some reason the “bold boys” were particularly obnoxious this day, and were preventing the good boys (like me) from learning. Colm threw the head a few times, but control just drifted further away. “Ah feck ye all”, says Colm eventually, “I’m going to play golf.” He left.

Worse mayhem ensued and it attracted the attention of the headmaster, Tom Kilraine. He burst in the door, furious, “Where is Mister Murray?” he yelled. One of the braver messers spoke up: “He’s gone playin golf, Sir. Did he not tell ye first?”

Over 30 years later I met Colm at Longchamp the day Hurricane Run won the Arc and reminded him of the story. He said Mr Kilraine’s feedback the next morning was still ringing in his ears. “Ye little bastards,” Colm said. Ever the gentleman, he still bought me a pint. – Yours, etc,


Woodlands Park,


Co Dublin.