Deep sadness at the death of former Limerick manager, ‘rugby fan’

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Warm and nostalgic tributes have been paid at the death of a former headmaster who brought ‘big changes’ to a major Limerick secondary school decades ago.

Alumni of Crescent College Comprehensive in Dooradoyle have reminisced about their fond memories, following the passing of Reverend Father Dermot Murray, who served as headmaster between 1982 and 1992.

“He was a superb principal at CCC and positively influenced many of us during our time there,” said a condolence, recalling how much interest Father Murray took in many extracurricular activities.

“Such little things have made big differences for us young students,” he added, writing by a Castletroy resident who was part of the class of 1990 at Crescent College Comprehensive.

Another touching tribute, from Cratloe, characterized the Jesuit priest and educator as a “man far ahead of his time” describing him as witty, genial, exceptionally good company and extremely kind.

Originally from Kildare and late from Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Father Murray spent time as headmaster at three schools: Crescent College Comprehensive, Clongowes Wood College and Gonzaga College.

A tribute has crowned the ‘rugby-loving’ former headmaster, who played a pivotal role in Munster’s numerous cups won during his tenure at Dooradoyle High School.

Another Limerick-based tribute referenced how Father Murray had a wonderful ability to remember names, which “made you walk a little higher and attacked you harder when you shouted from the line key”.

Father Murray spent time as a member of the Leinster Rugby Referees Association and was a strong supporter of the Munster Referees Association, where he also served as chairman.

“He loved his rugby, the students will be forever grateful for the advice he gave to prepare them for their future careers,” recalled a warm reflection from a family in Raheen.

In 2016, the Jesuits celebrated 60 years of Father Murray’s membership in the Roman Catholic order and remarked on his “sunniest disposition” which they said made him “the most affable of men”.

They also said he was “the possessor of a marvelous singing voice which was often heard echoing from the altar during school liturgies” while he was principal of three Jesuit colleges.

Reverend Father Dermot Murray passed away on October 4, peacefully, under the wonderful care of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge, Nursing Home, Milltown, Dublin.

He is predeceased by his parents John and Clare, and deeply missed by his beloved sister Ann, his nieces Pat and Clare, his nephew John, his great-nephews, his great-nieces, his parents, his friends and his Jesuit brother in Clongowes and in the Irish province.

His resting place was at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home on Saturday October 8, followed by a move which arrived at Clongowes Wood College Chapel, Clane.

His funeral was held in the school sports hall, after which he was buried in the community cemetery.

“As an educator, rugby coach and administrator he was first class. He created good atmospheres wherever he went. May his sweet soul rest in peace,” said a final tribute to Limerick.

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