Patrick Lynch’s Tribute in Memory of Denis Murphy, Ballydaly

Among the wonderful memories recalled by many of the late Denis Murphy – Patrick Lynch, a native of Ballydaly, shared a very special tribute to Denis which we share here:
“Denis Murphy, our next-door neighbor, was my first boss. Well, not my first boss, that would be my dad, but for sure my first cash-paying boss. 10p per day.
Denis, and his brother Tadghie lived next door, and both were idols to us. They drove Cortinas, had long-ish hair, listened to Mudd and Slade, turned up to Mass fashionably late (and more outrageously, left early), and read ‘The Sunday World’. I wanted to be them when I grew up.
Denis was, and still is, one of my favorite people. Back then, he was a god. He drove a blue MK 3 Cortina, always at considerable speed, later progressing to a blue Mazda 323. We would hear him pull out of his house and in no time fly past our place in a speedy blur of blue.
I have the vaguest memories of Denis and Tadghie’s mom, Hannah, but remember her fondly. Sadly, she passed when I was very young, leaving the Murphy men to fend for themselves. They had the kind of house I could just walk straight into without even knocking, and frequently did. Pat, their dad, was a gentleman. He often made me a cup of tea with some store-bought brown bread, (a novelty for me), and answered my many, many questions.
One evening I popped in and their family friend, Gerry Shovlin, had stopped by for dinner. Gerry was sporting an odd hat, and at one point Denis reached over and pulled it off, revealing a freshly shaved head. Gerry was mortified and we all howled with laughter.
I was in Poland when Pat passed and I remember being terribly saddened. He was the kindest of men.
An early memory (when I would have been about 10 years old) was the day Denis laid the foundation for his home. Denis decided to build next to his dad, though the plot came with the penalty of being slightly closer to the Lynch Mob. That home proved to be a foundation of sorts for me in many ways, and we were really blessed to have neighbors like the Murphys.
On ground-break day, a JCB dug out the trenches, and tradition called for every able man from the neighborhood to turn up, mix concrete, and lay the foundations. To my very young self, this was a huge event. I remember it as a sunny Sunday, with lots of people and tea, and John Corkery and I buzzing around with excitement.

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