A POIGNANT poem dedicated to Cathal Murphy from Bandon has summed up the loss experienced by those who knew the 33-year-old, who was tragically killed along with Raymond McCann from Kanturk in a car crash in Canada last weekend.
Entitled ‘The Impression Maker’, and written by poet and family friend, Brian O’Driscoll, it praises the ‘friendly and charming demeanour’ of Cathal and concludes by saying: ‘A man’s true worth has to solely lie with just how incredibly much he will be unforgettably missed. God bless and good speed.’
Cathal, from Kilbrogan, had been living in Canada for a few years and he, along with Raymond, 42, were killed when their car crashed on a motorway near the town of Melita, in Manitoba on Saturday morning. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
Bandon-based Cllr Rachel McCarthy, who knew Cathal all through their school years, said his loss will be sorely felt by his family.
‘Cathal was a very friendly and outgoing person and he was a great soccer player too. It’s the call that no family wants to get and it’s just very sad for everyone who knew him,’ said Cllr McCarthy.
The former Hamilton High School student played soccer for both Bandon AFC and Cork City FC in his teens, as well as winning a cap for Ireland, and he was fondly remembered by Tony O’Leary from Bandon AFC.
‘This is an awful tragedy and Cathal was a lovely young man and he played here for the club for several years and played in all the under age teams,’ said Tony. ‘The thoughts of everyone in the club are with his family at this moment.’
Cathal was also a former member of the Fire Service in Bandon, which he joined in his late teens and he was a very helpful member of the staff there, according to station officer Aidan Buckley.
‘He joined us here when he was 19 and he was very willing and helpful, as well as being a very good fireman,’ said Aidan.
‘Above all, he was just a fierce nice young man and was always good craic and he went out of his way to help people, even outside the station. So his death has come as a shock to us all here who knew and worked with him.’
Cathal is survived by his parents Paddy and Christina, and his brothers Patrick, Raymond and James. They released a statement earlier this week through the Department of Foreign Affairs saying they were devastated by his death.
‘We are thankful for all the support shown to us at this difficult time. We would ask, however, that the media now respect our privacy as we try to come to terms with our loss. We will not be making any further comment,’ said the statement.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are currently investigating the cause of the crash, which occurred on an extended weekend holiday. The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has offered assistance to the families of both men who died, and Cathal’s brother James has flown to Canada to bring Cathal back to Bandon.