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When the news broke on Monday that former St David’s chaplain Father Joe Murphy had passed, it was quite the scramble to find some images of the man this town loved so well.

Father Joe was friends to just about everyone he met, from Nigeria to Newtown, and so, joining Facebook wasn’t really top of his list.

We had to look elsewhere, and, mercifully, the ever-reliable Kathleen Kelleher was able to source a treasure trove of photos from one of Fr. Joe’s close friends, but, be the holy, on the very day the great man was buried, the equally dependable Jago Hayden has sent us the beauty above, taken back in 1947.

That’s young Blacklion boy Joey Murphy, seated, second from the left. Moving right, it’s Barlow Whiston, from the Grove, and also seated, Jago’s brother, John, whilst on the left, it’s Jimmy Martin, from Mill Road.

The reason the four young lads are having their portrait taken is because these Blacklion School students each won scholarships to Synge Street CBS. Which meant getting the 7.40am train to the big city every morning.

Would the young Joey Murphy have already been thinking about dedicating his life to the man upstairs? Or was he just a kid, just taking it all in, and having the time of his life…?

Either way, is it any wonder that such a smart young kid grew up to be such a wise old man…

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