Walk raises £5k in memory of nursing home manager

Walk raises £5k in memory of nursing home manager

6 November 2019

THE life and work of former nursing home manager James Murphy was fondly remembered by his former colleagues when they organised a recent memorial charity walk.

The team at King’s Castle Private Nursing Home in Ardglass —where the Kilclief man worked for 15 years before his retirement — raised more than £5,000 from a sponsored walk around Russell Gaelic Union GAA ground over the summer.

The money raised by the 150 walkers was divided between three local charities with Macmillan Cancer Support and Downpatrick PIPS each receiving £1,500 and Cruise Bereavement receiving £1,000, with a further £380 going to ALPS Downpatrick.

Two memory benches were also bought from the proceeds, one for King’s Castle and one for the Murphy family.

The walk was organised by staff members Anne Marie Noble and Orla McAuley who Mr Murphy used to refer to has his “A-Team”.

They recently organised the presentation of the cheques to the charities which was attended Mr Murphy’s widow, Briege, and some of his children.

Speaking on behalf of the home where Mr Murphy managed since 2002-16, The home’s deputy manager Mary Peake thanked everyone who took part in the run and Mr Murphy’s family and manager Wendy Miniss for allowing his former staff to celebrate his life with the charity effort.

Mrs Peake said: “James was our manager and friend at Kings Castle and he worked closely with his sister Frances Donavon who was his deputy. James was a fair and loyal manager and he made it clear that he genuinely loved all the patients he helped care for.

“He work wasn’t really work but a true vocation. He was exceptionally well thought off throughout the caring and nursing professional and it’s fair to say that he is greatly missed and talked about daily in our nursing home.”

Mr Murphy passed away at the age of 72 on February 23 this year.

He began his career at the age of 19 as a student nurse, then mental health nurse, in the Downshire Hospital where he rose to become staff nurse.

The father of five spent some time working in England before he returned home in 1979 to become assistant director of nursing services at Ards Community Hospital. 

He retired from that position before taking up the position at King’s Castle.

Mrs Peake added: “James showed unfailing love and support to all residents and families and always knew what to say. His comforting words touched so many people’s hearts forever.

“He had the respect of everyone in the multidisciplinary team from GPs, to physiotherapists, everyone said what a great gentleman and exceptional nurse he was.

Dr Malachy Murphy said Mr Murphy was one of two men who stood out to him over his 40-year medical career.

“He will always have a special place in our heats at King’s Castle and we are all very proud and honoured to have worked under him and will keep his high standard of nursing care alive in our home”.