Garryowen and Munster man Con Roche dies

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

GARRYOWEN legend Conor (Con) Roche, who played for Munster against Australia in 1948 and won a Munster Senior Cup medal for his club the previous year, has passed away.

GARRYOWEN legend Conor (Con) Roche, who played for Munster against Australia in 1948 and won a Munster Senior Cup medal for his club the previous year, has passed away.

Mr Roche was 88 when he passed away peacefully this Tuesday in St John’s Hospital.

The grandfather of current Munster and Irish star scrum half Conor Murray, Con Roche played a starring role for Munster in the famous battle with Australia in 1948, pulling off a famous tackle in the match in Cork.

Mr Roche, who played second row and number eight, had a final trial for Ireland as a player although he was not capped, but won a Munster Senior Cup medal with Garryowen in 1947 and was a life long member of the club.

Con, who lived in College Park, Corbally, was predeceased by his wife Joan, who died in 2008.

He is survived by Desmond, who lives in Australia and flew home this week, Barbara, mother of Conor Murray, who was capped for her country playing squash and Joni, who lives in Limerick.

Mr Roche’s friends Gerry, Sarah, Conor, Aisling and Lily (Murray) and Pauline, Susan, Barry, Julie and Erin, other relatives, neighbours and friends, said they would sadly miss him.

Mr Roche was due to be buried in Castlemungret cemetery this Thursday after a mass in St Mary’s Church at 11am.

Mr Roche lived to see his young grandson play in a famous victory over Australia at the Rugby World Cup last year and speaking at the time, Conor Murray’s father Gerry said Con was “thrilled” to see his grandson selected for his country.

“There has always been a connection there, Con was a great player in his day. This is a huge boost,” said Gerry Murray.

“It was a big night when Munster played Australia in Thomond Park, that awful stormy night. Con had played against Australia in Cork, so that was a huge connection there, they were narrowly beaten that night, but it is coming right around now,” he added.