Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas Cheann Comhairle has expressed his deep personal sadness on the passing of Joey Murrin former Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation.
In a tribute to the late Mr Murrin, who passed away this morning, Deputy Gallagher called him a “champion of the fishing sector and a true pioneer of our time.”
This is his tribute to the late Mr Murrin.
“I have known Joey all my adult life from the first time I went to Killybegs to work within the fish processing sector, at that time Joey worked on the San Paulin, a boat belonging to the late Tommy Watson.
“Joey was an exceptional personable person, who used his talents, attributes and gifts extremely well for the direct benefit of others and the causes he was engaged in. He was forever the champion of the fishing sector always seeking to better the sector and improve the conditions of the fishermen. He devoted his entire life to Fisheries and improving the living standards in coastal communities, Joey was forever committed and dedicated to those causes during his lifetime.
“Joey played a central role in the development and expansion of the fisheries and the entire Marine sector within this country. Joey first became involved with the then-named Killybegs Fisherman’s Association in 1958, when he was elected Secretary of that organisation, he was later elected Chairperson in 1973.
“In 1974 he was elected Chairperson of the Irish Fisherman’s Organisation. In 1979 Joey was a founder member of the KFO – he was its Chief Executive for the next 22 years between 1979 to 2000, he also served as Chairperson of BIM and more recently the Marine Institute. In his lifetime involvement within the fishing industry and broader fishing community he witnessed many changes to that sector, he always managed change seeking to see the positives in it and to maximise the potential from the ever-changing circumstances which the fishing industry has become in a European context.
“During his term at the helm of the KFO Joey worked with 15 different Marine Ministers from various Governments, but Joey being the consummate professional worked effectively with each of them, holding them to account for the development of fishing sector and working with them to progress the potential of coastal communities.
“Joey was a frequent attendee on behalf of the sector at the December Fisheries meetings in Brussels – where he would maintain a strong lobbying role until the annual Total Allowable Catch would be determined. The great advantage Joey had over others was he knew the fishing industry so well, having worked as a fisherman as well as a Chief Executive he knew the industry inside and out and spoke with complete confidence when dealing with the sector. It was this broad experience that gave Joey the edge and made him in many ways a true Fisheries pioneer of his time.
“On a personal level, Joey was a true and loyal friend and a trusted confidante, someone who you could always go to for advice or guidance. His good council and advice was always given for the better good of the fishing sector, drawn as it was from his vast years of experience and sound judgement which he always exercised. During my time as Minister for the Marine, Joey was a frequent and constant advocate for Killybegs and the broader fishing community , many of these occasions were for individuals as well as the broader sector – Joey always had his finger on the pulse.
“To his wife Betty, his sons Malachy, Joseph, Alan and his daughters Elish, Edel his grandchildren and wider family circle I express my profound sympathies, you have lost a dear husband, an excellent father and an unequalled grandfather. But, you can draw comfort and solace from the fact that Joey leaves a legacy that will be never be equalled in the fishing community, he leaves a legacy of achievement and progression. His time on this world has made such a positive impact for so many, he led the sector at the most difficult of times as well as the good times but he never lost focus or direction of what the purpose or goal of his Organisation were. Fisheries was his life’s work this we all know but his wife Betty and family were his world, his pride and joy – the devotion of his life, this you can now draw comfort from because Joey was a family man.
To quote a fisherman’s poem :
“I have lived in sight of the ocean, where the water runs to land, and I have left my tracks on the sand, but musical waves have been calling me.
“And the Ocean is so wide and vast
That I’ve struck for silver horizon,
And put out to sea at last.
“Eternal rest grant to him and may the far shores of Heaven grant you the rest you so richly deserve. Pat the Cope Gallagher.Tags: