Kilkenny hurling star to miss league as he embarks on UN peace keeping mission
By COLIN BARTLEY
HE spends his time on the pitch keeping some of Ireland’s sharpest shooters subdued, now as part of his duties he is off to keep some real shooters in-check.
Four-time All-Ireland winner and four-time All-Star defender, Kilkenny’s Paul Murphy is off to the Lebanon as part of the 3rd Infantry Battalion on UN peacekeeping duties.
The 30-year-old Danesfort clubman will set off in November, alongside members of the defence forces based in Kilkenny, as part of the 115th Infantry Battalion United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission.
The UNIFIL peacekeeping mission was established on 19 March 1978 by United Nations Security Council due to escalating tension and violence in the Middle Eastern nation, 41 years later, tensions remain.
Murphy, a Lieutenant in the Irish Army, took to Twitter to announce his pride in being part of this mission.
“In November, I will deploy with @defenceforces as part of the 115th Infantry Battalion UNIFIL (Lebanon). During that time, I hope to show the incredible work carried out by Irish troops as we continue over 60 years of unbroken service to peace around the world.”
The mission will last six months, so Murphy is set to miss Kilkenny’s entire National League campaign, but will return just in time for the Leinster Championship round-robin. Yesterday it was announced the Cats will face Dublin in the first round on May 8 or May 9.
PICTURE: Paul Murphy hurling with Defence Forces in Croke Park, pictured with Captain G. Walsh