Tributes paid as beloved Offaly doctor passes away

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Tributes paid as beloved Offaly doctor passes away

Tributes paid as beloved Offaly doctor passes away

Tributes have been paid this week following the death of popular Ferbane doctor Gabriel Murphy.

The Galway native, fondly known as Gay, served as a GP in Ferbane for over 30 years having moved from a practice in Belmullet, Co Mayo in the 1980s. 

Gay is survived by his loving wife Joan, sons Niall, Keith, Gabriel and daughter Rachael, as well as grandchildren Lucas, Blaise, Siofra, Ted and Milo and his extended family and friends.

One of those friends is Cllr Eamon Dooley who described Dr Murphy as an "old-style doctor; time didn't mean anything to him as he was available day or night, you could ring him any time."

"He'd help out anyone and money was never really an issue to him."

Cllr Dooley also describes the Galway native as "a keen GAA man" and indeed he played his part in Ferbane's famous five-in-a-row run of Offaly football titles and a Leinster title in the late 1980s, serving as team doctor.

"I was part of that team and I would have been getting on in years at the time so I kind of credit him with keeping me going in the latter years," Cllr Dooley said.

Dr Murphy had been approached to run in a General Election for Fianna Fail in Mayo in the 1980s, and while he declined owing to work and family commitments, Dr Murphy remained a pillar of the community when he arrived in Ferbane.

He didn't get involved in local politics but was immersed in the locality and "was an excellent bridge player," according to Cllr Dooley. 

"He was also part of a great quiz team with James Hamill, who has the garage here, and a few others, and they were very good on quiz nights, and he would support everything locally," Cllr Dooley remembered.

"He retired at the age 70 but even in retirement he served as a relief doctor for the Midoc service in Birr until about two years ago."

"He was the salt of the earth and very popular with old and young. It didn't matter if you were a rich man, poor man or beggarman; he'd look after you. There was no airs and graces about him and he is a great loss," Cllr Dooley said.

"I would like to pass on my sympathies to Joan and all the family."

Dr Murphy was laid to rest at New Cemetery, Bohermore, Galway following funeral mass at St. Mary's Church in Ferbane on Friday, February 8.