Hurling and camogie

Anne McCone Murphy - an exceptional lady has left us

The victorious Sacred Heart team of 1971
Séamas McAleenan

The camogie world is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Anne Murphy (née McCone), a native of Carrickcruppen.

Anne was an outstanding camogie player with club, school and county from the late 1960s through the next decade.

In 1970 she was centre-half back on the first team from her school, Sacred Heart, Newry, to collect Corn Uan Uladh for the Ulster senior championship.

Anne scored a goal in that final win over St Clare’s, Cavan and was prominent as they went on to beat Presentation, Oranmore in the All-Ireland semi-final.

However the Newry school lost the national final that year to Presentation, Kilkenny on a 2-3 to 1-1 score-line.

The following year Anne was chosen as captain of the school team that were convincing winners of Corn Uan Uladh for a second time, beating St Mary’s, Magherafelt by 7-1 to 1-0 in the final.

Anne McCone (Sacred Heart, Newry captain) receiving Corn Sceilge from Camogie President Lily Spence (Antrim) in Croke Park May 1 1971

Once again they pushed on beating St Aloysius from Cork in the semi-final to set up another final this time against Galway opposition, Presentation, Mountmellick.

That game in Croke Park turned out to be a thriller and ended in a 2-4 to 3-1 draw with Anne McCone bursting through late on to score the equalising point.

The replay was also in Croke Park on May 1st and resulted in a convincing 3-1 to 1-1 win for the Newry side so that Anne became the first Ulster captain to lift Corn Sceilge.

A dominant midfield general, Anne picked off a goal in the replay and finished the championship with nine goals and two points; “she gave the team determination and the inspiration they needed”.

The enormity of that achievement can only be appreciated now when we realise that there has only ever been one other Ulster winner – St Mary’s Magherafelt in 2007 – since that victory 48 years ago.

By the time she captained her school to All-Ireland glory, Anne had already won an Ulster Junior title as centre-half back with Armagh and played in an All-Ireland final in Croke Park when the Orchard county lost by 4-2 to 3-3 to Dublin.

She continued to represent her county and club Carrickcruppen helping them to their only county senior title in 1972. Later she represented Mullaghbawn where she lived and worked as a teacher in the primary school.

Carrickcruppen GAA club commented on her death on their Facebook page yesterday and after listing her achievements, added: “She will forever be remembered in Carrickcruppen not only for her sporting achievements, but for her friendly and winning personality….. An exceptional lady has left us.”

Anne’s funeral Mass will take place this morning, Friday Feb 22, at 11am in St Mary’s Church, Mullaghbawn.

Our sympathy is extended to her husband Eamon and daughters, Ciara, Cáitríona and Niamh and the extended Murphy and McCone families.

Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a hanam.

Anne McCone (Sacred Heart, Newry captain) receiving Corn Sceilge from Camogie President Lily Spence (Antrim) in Croke Park May 1 1971

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