Liscarroll Commemoration


Saturday 25th June was another historic day in Liscarroll when an obelisk was unveiled in front of a large attendance to commemorate local hero William Murphy (1819 – 1902) and his weight throwing feat on St Patrick’s Day 1868 when he lofted a 12 pound sledge over the wall of Liscarroll Castle. The spectacular setting was the lovely village green in Liscarroll which sits in the shadow of Liscarroll Castle; the third largest Norman Castles in Ireland.

The weather was kind and the stage was set for the commemoration which started at 3.00pm. The event was organised by Liscarroll Community Council in association with Churchtown Historical and Heritage Society. Ger Healy, secretary of Liscarroll Community Council was the master of ceremonies for the day. The event was organised by LCC’s PRO Doreen McElligott Egan.

Fergus Egan, chairman of Liscarroll Community Council welcomed everybody. A short biography of William Murphy was then presented by his great great great grandnephew John Murphy who came especially for the event from Boston in the USA. Denis J Hickey from the Churchtown Historical & Heritage Society then gave a short presentation on the similarities between William’s achievement and the story of Matt the Trasher in Charles J Kickham’s book Knocknagow. Con O’Brien’s poem about William was then read by his great great great grandnephew and niece, Mark Smyth and Deirdre Murphy.

Noel Linehan read an excerpt from the Irish Folklore collection about William. Young Timmy Morrissey from Granard Gaels GAA Club read a story from the Ballyhea GAA History about William’s exploits on the Scoubeen (early hurling) fields. Local poet Philip Egan followed with a recital of Callaghan Hartstonge Gaynor’s poem The Walls of Liscarroll.

Charleville woman, Dr Colette Moloney then presented a paper based on her book entitled “The Boss Murphy Musical Legacy” in 2003. Great great great grandnephew Brian Murphy then read William’s obituary from the Cork Examiner in February 1902. Brian and his brother John are sons of Eddie Murphy from Egmont who played on the victorious Liscarroll hurling team in 1959.

Niamh Murphy paid a tribute to William’s great great great grand nephew Conor Bouveron (1996 – 2015) who was a very promising athlete who sadly died. Niamh and Deirdre Murphy are daughters of Gerry and Dorothy Murphy. Dorothy Murphy presented a bouquet of flowers to Doreen McElligott Egan to recognise all her work on the commemoration.

Gerry Murphy presented a short paper entitled ‘Leaving a Legacy’ in which he explained: “I like to think that the fact that William Murphy was born in Churchtown and made his name and lived in Liscarroll can be a unifying figure for both villages”.

Willie Relihan, Church-town sang a rousing version of The Bould Thady Quill before the Obelisk was unveiled by Gerry and John Murphy. Fergus Egan, chairman of Liscarroll Community Council then presented a souvenir 12lb sledge to Gerry Murphy. Colette Moloney concluded the formal commemoration The Walls of Liscarroll on her violin which was a wonderful finale under the Wall of the Castle. A 12lb sledge throwing then took place and this was won by Tim Brosnan, Liscarroll. Finally, refreshments were served with the compli-ments of Liscarroll Community Council. A special 44 page souvenir booklet was produced for the event and copies are available free to download online at and

History was also made as the event was live streamed worldwide on the Facebook page of Churchtown and Liscarroll Reaching Out. Over 100 people watched the event live online and since then over 1,000 people have viewed the 68 minute video as it was recorded live.