Twelve months ago, on this Friday morning my mother passed away. On the Saturday she reposed in Tangney’s Funeral Home.
Living in a close community, as we do, a huge number of people filed in to offer their sympathies.
One, a well known, local sports shop owner, was under pressure – it was the eve of the biggest day of the year for his business. He called in after 6pm and was heading to Dublin for the following day’s All-Ireland final between Kerry and Donegal.
Being the good neighbour, he was there to do his christian duty and shook the hands and offered the words of condolence to the bereaved.
I was first in line and gratefully took his outstretched hand and accepted the gesture. “Sorry for your troubles John – Jesus we’re cleaned out below – we haven’t a flag or a scarf left this evening.”
Good man Gerdie – business as usual.
I would imagine that there could be a book written in the blackest ink possible on funeral parlour humour.
This year Gerdie Murphy is off again and he had the final fitting of his match-day suit at John Power’s this evening and I was invited to be there. Even there he gathered a crowd.
A weekend of turning heads and drawing comments awaits him as he strides up Jones’ Road on Sunday – and he’s looking forward to every second of it.
‘Where did this form of madness come from,” I asked Gerdie in his father, Vincent’s presence one day during the week. “Not from our crowd anyway,’ said Vincent in a flash – but with a smile.
“We’re after a very busy few weeks and we’ll be glad when it’s over. I’m looking forward to the games but I’m more nervous this year – there wont be the kick of a ball in it I feel,” said Gerdie as John Power put the final touches to the 2015 All-Ireland Football Championship suit and hat.
John Power can be contacted on: 087 19 45 208 or seen at Lower Main Street any day. Gerdie will be seen on TV again on Sunday. It won’t be his fault if he doesn’t.