Colm Murray’s illness ‘broke our hearts’, daughter says

Mourners told broadcaster was a ‘great wordsmith’ with ‘a charismatic personality’


“His illness broke our hearts,” Kate Murray told the congregation who had gathered in St Gabriel’s Church, Dollymount, today for the funeral mass of her father, RTÉ sports broadcaster Colm Murray.

He died on Monday from motor neurone disease.

The chief celebrant of the mass was Fr Jimmy Murray, who taught Colm Murray when he was at school in Moate, Co Westmeath. Fr Murray was joined by nine other priests at the altar.

The chief mourners were Murray’s wife Ann and daughters Patricia and Kate Murray, his sister Mary, and a number of in-laws and nieces and nephews.

Among the other mourners were RTÉdirector general Noel Curran, broadcasters Joe Duffy, Miriam O’Callaghan, Sean O’Rourke, David Davin Power and Des Cahill. Also present were former colleagues Anne Doyle, Charlie Bird, Jimmy Magee, Ed Mulhall and Rodney Rice as well as virtually all the members of the station’s sports department.

President Michael D Higgins was in attendance while Taoiseach Enda Kenny was represented by his aide de camp, Commandant Micheal Treacy.

Former taoisigh Liam Cosgrave and Brian Cowen also attended, as did TDs Micheál Martin, Finian McGrath and Eric Byrne, and former ministers John O’Donoghue and Sean Haughey.

By the time the Mass began at noon, it seemed as if nobody was left in Montrose to man RTÉ. Mr Murray’s colleagues from sports and news at turned out in their scores at every level to pay tribute to one of their own.

Rugby player Brian O’Driscoll represented the sporting world. With the Galway Races and the Goodwood meet currently under way, jockeys and trainers were notably absent, doing their jobs on the racecourses that Murray loved so much.

In his homily, Fr Murray spoke of Murray - the “great wordsmith” with “a charismatic personality” - as a person “who never let people down”. His life, he said, was one “punctuated with love and kindness” and even when he could no longer speak, “he looked at you with that lovely smile”.

Burial took place afterwards to St Fintan’s cemetery in Sutton.