Northern Ireland news

Hurling referee Colin Murray had a 'passion for life'

Hurling referee Colin Murray died on Tuesday following an illness

A PROMINENT hurling referee and former Down player who died following an illness had a "passion for life" and his family.

Colin Murray, from Crossgar, Co Down, died at his home on Tuesday.

A grandfather-of-two and father-of-three, Mr Murray, who was in his forties, was a member of Darragh Cross GAC.

He represented Down in hurling and went on to become a respected referee.

His club said it was "deeply saddened".

"In recent years Colin made a name for himself as a referee, taking charge of many big championship matches round the county and Ulster," the club said in a statement.

"Colin moved himself up the ranks onto the inter-county refereeing scene more recently.

"A real gentleman and popular figure, Colin will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him."

St Johns GAA, Drumnaquoile, said Mr Murray was "taken much too soon from us".

"He was a man who was a great support to other referees, was willing always to help out any other match official who needed an umpire or a linesman," the club said.

"Colin was a man whose good nature and personality saw him as a friend to many players and officials.

"He was widely respected throughout the county and beyond."

The club extended its sympathies to the Murray family.

"To the Gaels of Darragh Cross we offer our condolences on the loss of a great club man," it said.

His daughter Niamh's football team, Kilmore Rec, said Mr Murray was "one of our most fervent supporters throughout the years and a hard working committee member for a period in the late 2000s early 2010s".

The club said Mr Murray, nicknamed C'more, had a "passion for life, for his family, for sport, in particular hurling, and if there was one going maybe a game of cards".

"Very often C’more would be seen at Robert Adams Park enthusiastically supporting whatever Kilmore team were playing. That level of enthusiasm would increase if his brother in law Gary Kennedy was playing and went to another level again if his daughter Niamh, of whom he was immensely proud, was wearing the blue of Kilmore," the club wrote on Facebook.

The club offered its condolences to Mr Murray's family.

"Colin Murray was a very special person, a passionate person who a lot of us at Kilmore would have counted as a close friend. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten," the club wrote.

Crossgar Golf Club, of which Mr Murray was a member, and Ballygalget GAC also offered their sympathies to Mr Murray's family.

Requiem Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph in Crossgar at noon tomorrow.

Burial will take place in Good Shepherd Cemetery, Kilcairn.

Mr Murray is survived by his wife Donna, children Nikita, Niamh and Finn, grandchildren Eoin and Zoey and wider family circle.

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