heartbreaking  | 

DCU students and staff gather with Red Óg Murphy’s family to celebrate tragic footballer

Red Óg will be laid to rest on Friday after funeral mass at St Patrick's Church, Moylough

The late Red Óg Murphy

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Students and staff of DCU Institute of Education gathered with members of Red Óg Murphy’s family to celebrate the young Sligo footballer on the college’s St Pat’s campus last night.

In a Twitter post, the college shared photographs of floral tribute to the 21-year-old who was found dead at his accommodation in Dublin on Friday.

Red Óg was a star footballer for his former school, St Attracta’s, his club, county and DCU where he was studying to be a primary school teacher.

He will be laid to rest in Bunnacrannagh Cemetery, Curry, Co Sligo on Friday after funeral mass at St Patrick's Church, Moylough, at 1pm.

His notice on RIP.ie states that the death “has occurred suddenly, in Dublin, of Red Óg Murphy, Moylough, Curry, Co Sligo”.

“Sadly missed by his heartbroken parents Geraldine and Redmond and his two brothers Oisín and Daithí,” the notice adds.

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It also refers to his grannies, girlfriend Rachel Jackson, aunties and uncles, all their families, cousins, neighbours and friends, club mates of Curry GAA, DCU team mates, fellow students and the wider Sligo GAA community.

In the condolences section people have left numerous messages of sympathy to the family of a “beautiful young man”.

Students and staff of DCU Institute of Education pay tribute to Red Óg Murphy

“Heartfelt condolences to you all at this heartbreaking time,” one person has written. “What a beautiful young man Red Og was.”

“My deepest sympathies to Redmond, Geraldine, Oisín and Daithí, and on the extended Murphy and Lavin families on the passing of the loving Red Óg,” another adds.

“You are all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. May his gentle loving soul rest in peace.”

One person offered a “sincere sympathy to you Geraldine, Redmond, Oisin, Daithi and all the extended Murphy and Lavin family (sic) on the sad passing of your beloved Red Óg.

“I didn’t know him personally but I have admired him as a footballer for many years he was a class act on the field.

“Words fail me all I can say is that my thoughts and prayers are with you all during these difficult days.”

Earlier, the Chairman of Curry GAA Club Barry Gallagher told independent.ie that the whole community had been plunged into sadness following the news of Red Óg’s death.

As tributes flowed in to the footballer, from not only across sporting circles in Ireland, but also around the world, a minute’s silence was observed in his memory ahead of matches taking place at the weekend.

These included the Sligo and Derry hurlers in the Div 2b final in Ederney, Co Fermanagh and the county’s U17s footballers who played Donegal in Ballybofey.

Sligo and Dungannon RFC players observed a minute’s silence before their AIL game in Hamilton Park on Saturday.

Red Óg’s club, Curry GAA, said his parents Geraldine and Redmond, brothers Oisín and Daithí and extended family were in everyone’s thoughts and prayers.

Red Óg joined AFL side North Melbourne in 2019 and their players and officials wore black armbands on Saturday in their match with Brisbane.

Kerry joint captain David Clifford remembered the young Sligo man during his victory speech on the steps of Croke Park on Sunday after Kerry defeated Mayo to win the Allianz Division 1 honours.

The MTU Kerry student said: “I just want to send regards from everyone in Kerry GAA to the family of Red Óg Murphy from Sligo.

“We were all lucky enough to see Red Óg play in the Sigerson this year and we all saw what he could do, so sending our best wishes to the family from everyone in Kerry GAA.”

His tribute was met with warm applause from the crowd in Croke Park. The DCU student was named on the Sigerson Team of the Year earlier this month after his outstanding performances for the college.

He featured in all 12 of Sligo’s 2020 and ‘21 league and championship matches scoring 1-15 before opting to take a year out to concentrate on club and his studies.

Described as an inspiration, superb role model and player of his generation, there were wide tributes being paid to the young man on Twitter.

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