Home News Tributes paid to ‘true gentleman’ as legendary hotelier passes away

Tributes paid to ‘true gentleman’ as legendary hotelier passes away

The late Joe Murphy with his son Seosamh at the Durrow Senior Citizens Party in The Castle Arms Hotel. Picture: Alf Harvey.

There is deep sadness in Durrow this morning with the news that a long-serving hotelier has passed away.

Joseph Murphy, who was in his 95th year, passed away yesterday  surrounded by his loving wife Carmel and family.

He was the owner of The Castle Arms in Durrow and set up the business in 1955 – 63 years ago.

In recent years, Joe stepped away from the running of the hotel with his son Seosaimh stepping in to the role.

However, Joe was never far away and punters would routinely meet him when stepping foot into the hotel.

Cllr John Joe Fennelly led the tributes to Mr Murphy, describing him as a ‘true gentleman’.

He said: “I had my wedding breakfast in the Castle Arms and I can tell you that anyone who set foot in the hotel received the best of care from Joseph.

“He was a shrewd businessman and his son Seosaimh has continued that tradition on in recent years.

“Joe was also a very religious man – he routinely travelled to Lourdes with us and he will be a big loss to the whole community here.

“I remember we held the Fianna Fail Dinner Dance there one year and Joe could not do more to look after everyone.

“He was also extremely proud of all his children and loved his grandchildren dearly. He was one of life’s true gentlemen.”

Joe is survived by his wife Carmel and his loss is deeply regretted by his sons Tomas, Seosamh, Sean, Oisin (Durrow, Pascal New York, USA), daughters Catriona Kelly (California USA), Carmel Tameifuna (Hong Kong, China), Orla Staines (Dunmore East Co Waterford), sister Agnes (Baby) Conroy, sisters-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, grandnieces, grandnephews and a large circle of friends.

Joe is reposing at his residence on Wednesday, 14th November, from 2pm with Rosary at 9pm.

Removal Thursday, 15th November, at 7pm arriving at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Durrow for 7.30pm. Requiem Mass on Friday at 11am with burial immediately afterwards in adjoining cemetery.

May he Rest in Peace.

A selection of photos below are from Alf Harvey’s archives.

Jimmy Stanley, Tom Kenna, Betty Stanley and Joe Murphy at the Killermogh Union of Parishes New Year’s Buffet Dance in The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow in 2008
Margaret Conroy, Joe Murphy and Mick Lanigan at the launch The Harp’s and Sean Conroy’s book ‘A Score and Ten’ in The Castle Arms Hotel in 2015
Hosts Joe and Seosamh Murphy at the Durrow Senior Citizens Party in The Castle Arms Hotel in 2005
Fr. Noel Maher, Jim Hennessy, club chairman; Joe Murphy and Mary Hennessy at the Clough Ballacolla GAA Dinner Dance in The Castle Arms Hotel Durrow in 2008
Joe Murphy, Matt Lawless and Liam Phelan at Mary Collins, principal, retirement from Our Lady’s Meadow School in The Castle Arms, Durrow in 2004.
Bernie Murphy, Marie Stapleton, Oisin Murphy, Mick Costigan and Tomas Murphy at The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow for the Murphy’s 50th Anniversary party in 2005
Jack and Helen Murphy and Simon and Teresa Dunphy at The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow for the Murphy’s 50th Anniversary party in 2005
Joe Murphy, founder of The Castle Arms Hotel and his life long friend Harold Lawlor from Lawlor’s Florists Durrow who both started business the same time in 1955 at The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow for the Murphy’s 50th Anniversary in 2005
Sean Murphy, Noreen Byrne, who was presented with a long service award; Seosamh Murphy, Sean Byrne, Angela Byrne and Catherine Byrne at The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow for the Murphy’s 50th Anniversary party in 2005
Joe Murphy and Liza Moore have a laugh at the Killermogh Union of Parishes New Year’s Buffet Dance in The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow in 2008
The Murphy family in 2005 at The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow for the Murphy’s 50th Anniversary party to celebrate the opening of the hotel. Seated front centre are Joe and Carmel, with from left: Carmel, Seosamh, Pascal, Oisin, Sean, Catriona and Tomas. Missing from picture is Orla
Joe and Carmel Murphy; Mary Blundell and Bill Lanigan at The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow for the Murphy’s 50th Anniversary in 2005

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.