The death has been announced of Dan Murphy of The Fáilte Bar, Abbeyfeale. The late Mr. Murphy enjoyed a life-long association with Irish Traditional Music on both side of the Irish Sea. His dedication, and that of his wife, Maureen to the genre earned them several awards in recent years.
The Knocknagoshel born, Dan Joe Murphy and his Birmingham born wife, Maureen (nee Cleary) were the guests of honour in 2013 at a function in Limerick when Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Éireann president, Kevin Jordan presented them with the ‘Gradam Cruinne.’
“Dan and Maureen received the award in recognition of their work in promoting Irish Music, and Step Dancing in England and throughout Ireland over a period of 50 years.
On returning to Ireland, they became the proprietors of ‘The Failte Bar’ in Abbeyfeale. It became the home of traditional music.
Maureen, a dancing teacher and adjudicator, is well known throughout Munster and Birmingham in Irish Dancing circles. She is the active secretary of the annual Fleadh by the Feale and is instrumental in the success of the festival – which is facing into its 21th staging in Abbeyfeale next month.
In the late 1950s a youthful Dan Joe Murphy left Knocknagoshel village and emigrated to the industrial city of Birmingham. Even then he was an accomplished accordion player.
Together with his two first cousins and neighbours from Knocknagoshel, Jim and Dónal Murphy, they were instrumental in bringing the O’Connor Pipe Band of Birmingham to the Rose of Tralee Festival in 1961 as the official representatives of the Birmingham / Kerry Association. Dan’s sister Una was the Birmingham Rose that year, and Dan and his two cousins were band members.
“The visiting Pipe Band and three English Roses visited Knocknagoshel on the Friday night of the festival to be welcomed by a torch light parade and they also received a warm reception on an outdoor platform. The senior citizens of Knocknagoshel still recall that unique occasion,” according to Dónal Murphy.
At the awards ceremony in Limerick the Murphy family took part in a concert of music, song and dance. Dan and Maureen’s family: Donal Murphy of ‘Sliabh Notes’ and ‘Four Men and a Dog’ fame gave a great exhibition on the accordion and accompanied by his brother Sean of The Deenagh Ceilí Band, Killarney, sister Eilis on the concert flute and brother Kevin on the guitar.
Dan and Maureen’s special award was a gold medallion suitably engraved and complete with an official Comhaltas scroll in their honour.
The Castleisland based Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival also honored Dan and Maureen in 2013 when Maureen accepted the festival’s long established ‘Dedication to the Music of Sliabh Luachra Award’ on behalf of both of them.
Dan’s involvement in the welfare of the music of his locality is a legacy that will ensure his name will always be associated with the festival he helped to found and foster in Abbeyfeale and whereever tunes are played in the culturally enriched area. May God be good to him.
The rip.ie funeral arrangements are as follows: The death has occurred of Daniel J. (Dan) MURPHY, Killarney Road, Abbeyfeale, Limerick / Knocknagoshel, Kerry.
Murphy (Killarney Road and formerly of The Fáilte, Main Street, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick and Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry)- April 9th. 2015, at home, (peacefully), Daniel J. (Dan); deeply regretted by his loving wife Maureen, sons Seán, Donal and Kevin, daughter Eilís, sisters Una and Betty, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and a large circle of friends. R.I.P. Reposing at Harnett’s Funeral Home, Abbeyfeale on Saturday from 4.00 p.m. followed by removal at 8.00 p.m. to Church of the Assumption Abbeyfeale. Funeral Mass on Sunday at 12.00 p.m. Funeral afterwards to Reilig Íde Naofa Abbeyfeale. Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Date Published: Thursday 9th April 2015. Date of Death: Thursday 9th April 2015