Denis Murphy (hurler)

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Denis Murphy
Personal information
Irish name Donncha Ó Murchú
Sport Hurling
Position Left corner-back
Born 1939
Donoughmore, County Cork
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Years Club
1950s-1970s St. Finbarr's
Club titles
Cork titles 2
Munster titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
1960-1969 Cork 26 (0-1)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 2
All-Irelands 1
All Stars 1

Denis Murphy (born 1939 in Donoughmore, County Cork) is an Irish former sportsperson. He played hurling for his local clubs Grenagh and St. Finbarr's and was a member of the Cork senior inter-county team from 1960 until 1969.


Denis Murphy was born in Donoughmore, County Cork in 1939. He came from a farming family that had no previous hurling tradition. Murphy was educated locally and later attended St. Colman's College in Fermoy where his hurling skills were developed. He played at corner-forward on the college’s unsuccessful Dr. Harty Cup team in 1956, the year he did his Leaving Certificate. Murphy later attended University College Cork where he won a Fitzgibbon Cup winners' medal with the college’s hurling team in 1959.[1]

Playing career[edit]


Murphy began his club hurling career with the Grenagh club in Cork. In 1958 he won a mid-Cork junior hurling title with the club. Murphy later joined the famous St. Finbarr's club on the south side of Cork city wher ehe enjoyed further success. It was 1965 before Murphy played in his second county final. UCC were the opponents, however, victory went to 'the Barr's' by a huge margin and Doolan collected his first senior county championship title. St. Finbarr's later represented Cork in the provincial club championship. A 3-12 to 2-3 defeat of Waterford's Mount Sion gave Murphy a coveted Munster club title.[2] Murphy won a second county title with 'the Barr's' in 1968.


Murphy first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Cork senior hurling team in the early 1960s. It was an uncharacteristic dry-spell for 'the Rebels' and their last All-Ireland success in 1954 was becoming a distant memory.

1966, however, was a successful year as Cork defeated Waterford by two goals, giving Murphy a coveted Munster winners' medal.[3] This victory allowed Cork to advance directly to the All-Ireland final. Kilkenny were the opponents and were installed as the red-hot favourites. The game has gone down in Cork folklore as one of their sweetest championship victories. Colm Sheehan scored two goals while a John O'Halloran free struck the crossbar and rebounded into the net. Eddie Keher fought back for 'the Cats', however, at the full-time whistle Cork were the champions by 3-9 to 1-10.[4] It was Murphy's first All-Ireland winners' medal and a first for Cork in twelve years.

Cork lost their provincial crown in 1967, while 1968 was also an unsuccessful year. In 1969 Murphy was appointed captain of the Cork senior hurling team and, unlike the previous two years, it was a successful season. He began the year by guiding his county to a National Hurling League victory over Wexford.[5] Cork later qualified for the Munster final with Tipperary providing the opposition. In the only eighty-minute provincial decider between these two great rivals, Cork emerged victorious by 3-10 to 3-8.[6] It was Murphy's second Munster winners' medal. Cork later qualified for the All-Ireland final, with Murphy leading his team out in Croke Park. Once again Kilkenny were to be Cork’s opponents in the championship decider. Murphy’s side had the upper hand for much of the game, however, Kilkenny came storming back into the game in the last quarter of an hour and went on to win the game by 2-15 to 2-9.[7] It was hugely disappointing for Murphy and it turned out to be his last game for Cork. He retired at the relatively young age of thirty having won every honour at senior level.


Murphy also lined out with Munster in the inter-provincial hurling competition and enjoyed much success. He first lined out with his province in 1964, however, arch-rivals Leinster were the victors in the final of the competition. It was a similar story in 1965 as Leinster triumphed once again. In 1966 Murphy finally captured a Railway Cup winners' medal as Munster defeated the eastern province by two points. In 1967, however, Munster were once again defeated by Leinster. Murphy was listed on the Munster for the final time in 1969. That year his province won the competition again as Connacht fell heavily. It was Murphy's second Railway Cup title.[8]

Post-playing career[edit]

In retirement Murphy remained involved in hurling and was a selector in the mid-1970s when some of his former team-mates captured three successive All-Ireland titles in-a-row. In 2000 he was named at left corner-back on the Munster Hurling Team of the Millennium.


  1. ^ Donegan, Des (2005). The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games. DBA Publications. p. 247. 
  2. ^ "Club Championship Senior Hurling Munster Final Winning Teams". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-02-18. [dead link]
  3. ^ Donegan, Des (2005). The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games. DBA Publications. p. 25. 
  4. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. p. 356. 
  5. ^ The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games p. 75
  6. ^ The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games p. 25
  7. ^ The GAA Book of Lists p. 357
  8. ^ "Munster Railway Cup Hurling Teams". Munster GAA. Retrieved 2009-02-18. [dead link]
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jerry O'Sullivan
Cork Senior Hurling Captain
Succeeded by
Paddy Barry
Preceded by
Mick Roche
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final
runner-up captain

Succeeded by
Michael Collins