Brian Murrayhill obituary: Passionate tradesman and avid sports enthusiast

Bricklayer moved from England in his 20s and made Ireland his home

Brian Murrayhill died at the age of 75 on April 13th in St Mary’s Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Chelsea Murrayhill

Brian Murrayhill died at the age of 75 on April 13th in St Mary’s Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Chelsea Murrayhill


This article is one of a series about people who have died with coronavirus in Ireland and among the diaspora. Read more at If you would like a friend or family member included in the series, please email

Brian Murrayhill

1945 - 2020

Born in Kettering, a small town in Northamptonshire, England, it was in Ireland where Brian Murrayhill made his home.

He moved from London to Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, in his 20s as he had family there, and began work in their bricklaying business, which he later took over.

He met Bernadette Ryan in a pub in his 30s and moved to Dublin to live with her in a house in Clondalkin.

Brian had three children – two in England and his daughter Chelsea (23), who grew up in the home in Clondalkin.

“He was mad about football, he loved Tottenham,” Chelsea says. He was also a big Formula 1 fan, and an avid car enthusiast. For Brian “Mercedes was life,” his daughter says.

“He was music mad as well, he would listen to everything, from the Beatles to Jay Z,” she says. “He worked so much, and was very passionate about his work,” she adds.

When Chelsea was nine years old her father had a stroke, and his relationship with Bernadette broke up, at which point he moved to Co Leitrim to live with a friend.


He retired at 63, unable to work, which left him “devastated” given his passion for his trade, his daughter says. Chelsea would get the bus down to visit her father as a teenager every week, or every few weeks during school term.

In retirement he found passion in other projects and was “always working away on a car” to fix it up, she says.

After a cancer diagnosis he was moved to the Mater hospital in Dublin. At that point Chelsea and her partner had a house in Ballyfermot, where the pair hoped they would be able to care for her father. However, he was not well enough to live independently and two years ago moved to St Mary’s Hospital, a nursing home in the Phoenix Park.

“He loved it there, I don’t know how many girlfriends he had in there,” Chelsea says.

As one of the youngest residents, at 75, he was jokingly referred to as “the baby” of the ward, one healthcare worker who cared for Brian says.

On April 13th, Brian Murrayhill went into cardiac arrest and died in St Mary’s Hospital. He later tested positive for Covid-19.

Covid-19: Lives Lost