Mr Archie Murray

MR Archie Murray, of Church Avenue, Dundrum, passed away peacefully on at Corriewood Private Clinic, Castlewellan on March 20. He was 85.  

Archie was born on October 4, 1934, at Parkmore Farm, Glenariffe, County Antrim to Patrick and Catherine Murray (née Hoey).  Archie was a brother to Alex, Maggie Jane, Annie, Dan and the late Paddy, John, Rose and Catherine.

He grew up on a farm where from an early age he was instilled with his great work ethic which he carried throughout his life. 

At the age of 14, he left school to start working for local farmers.  At 16, he left home and joined the Merchant Navy.  He was in many places and on many boats, including the SS Downshire and the Heysham passenger boat.

One of the places Archie docked at was Dundrum and in 1960 he met Nuala Cunningham, who worked in her brother’s shop in Main Street. They married on June 24, 1963, and were blessed with 12 children, eight boys and four girls.

Archie was a devoted and loving husband to Nuala and a wonderful father to Anne, Patrick, Archie, Danny, John, Paul, Liam, Kevin, Mary, Mickey, Catherine and Clare. He was also a much loved grandfather and father-in-law.  He especially doted on his grandchildren.

Archie left the Merchant Navy a few years after marrying to start work in a local garage in Dundrum owned by Terry Barbour.  He then went on to work on the new road in Dundrum for Scallons until completion before going to work for Wimpeys who built new housing estates in Belfast.

When the Troubles started he got a job closer to home as a foreman for the National Trust in Murlough Nature Reserve where he remained for 25 years. 

After retirement, he kept busy and was always planning new projects in or around the house.  The week before his stroke, he was cutting down trees. On the day of his stroke he had just finished making St Brigid’s crosses which he made every year, with the proceeds going to the third world.

Archie’s hobbies included pigeon racing, which culminated in winning the prestigious Kings Cup with a pigeon called ‘Murray’s Dream’ with his son Patrick.  He enjoyed fishing and was a member of the Dundrum Angling Club.

He was a keen gardener, enjoyed nature programmes and was also an Arsenal supporter.  He played bowls which he thoroughly enjoyed and was competitive.  He represented the South Down bowls team which reached the semi finals of an All-Ireland competition and played alongside his son, Liam.

Archie was popular and well-thought of in Dundrum, and known to all.  He was on various committees within the community over the years. He was a true gentleman and a straight talker with a dry wit and a good sense of humour. He had 84 years of great health with an active lifestyle.

In January 2019 he suffered a stroke while playing bowls and spent several weeks in Daisy Hill Hospital until March 2019 when he moved to Corriewood Private Clinic where he inherited new friends.  

His final year of his life was very tough for him but he fought a brave and dignified fight.  He passed away peacefully at 2.30pm on Friday, March 20, surrounded by his family.  Archie’s funeral took place on Sunday, March 22 in Sacred Heart Church, Dundrum with burial in the Church of St Patrick and St Joseph cemetery, Ballykinlar.