Great Turnout For Gerry’s Final Journey Through Castleisland

The late Gerry Murphy pictured on one of his regular haunts on Killarney Road.  ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-6-2016

The funeral of the late Gerry Murphy brought elements of church, state and community together today for his final lap of the town.

Gerry, who died suddenly late on Thursday afternoon, was just a couple of weeks short of his 60th birthday.

Before his funeral cortège began to wend its way up town to the old library and back down and out his native Tralee Road, Gerry had his funeral mass at the Church of Saints Stephen and John followed by a Garda escort on his farewell journey around the town.

Main Street Lined

Not only that but a huge turn-out of locals lined Main Street in tribute to one who will be remembered as a character in the true sense of the word.

Timothy Murphy said that the cortege was presidential in appearance and impressive in the number of feet on the street lining the route.

Michael Healy Rae,TD said the people of Castleisland, their neighbours and visitors should be proud of themselves for the way they pay their respects to their departed in these times of severe restrictions.

Another man said he hoped that Gerry would be happy.

The thing about Gerry was that he was always happy. His needs were few and it caused him no stress in achieving his goals in life.

He was often of great service to the town’s traffic chaos in his own small way. He would guide people who weren’t great at reversing their cars into or out from parking spaces and often there was a reward for services rendered.

A Pint of Harp Thanks

He sometimes reminded me of another genius of the laws of survival, Patrick O’Keeffe.

When Gerry took the first drop out of a pint he was already thinking of where the next one would come from.

One evening in Sheila Prendiville’s he took his first drop of a sponsored pint. He turned to the man beside him and suggested that he might like to stand him the next one.

“What’s that, Gerry what’s that,” said the man sharply as he pointed to the almost full pint. “A pint of Harp thanks,” said Gerry turning the tables brilliantly on his hooked sponsor. Touche!

Forever Young

Among the enquiries I get after notices like this appear here are those about the age of the departed.

As far as Gerry is concerned, for those of us who knew him, he will stay forever young.

The Bob Dylan song entered my head on the street today as the hearse rounded the Back of the Forge for Tralee Road.

May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

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