Home is where the heart is for Vinny

Belmullet native Vinny Murphy will be returning from London to cheer on his beloved Mayo in Sunday’s All-Ireland football final at Croke Park.
A former Mayo Hurler of the Year, Vinny has been living and working in the English capital since 1999. He was a member of the London football panel for four years and is currently involved as trainer of the North London Shamrocks club which is based in the Palmer’s Green/Enfield area of North London.

An amalgamation of the old St. Teresa’s and Shannon Rovers/Sam Maguires clubs, the Shamrocks contested the London IFC in Ruislip last Saturday, only to lose to St. Brendan’s by 0-8 to 0-11. Needless to say, a victory for Mayo over favourites Donegal this weekend would help Vinny to get over that disappointment!

“The defeat is still a bit raw at the moment, but hopefully Mayo will be able to cheer me up a bit,” says the 31-year-old, who wasn’t able to line out for the Shamrocks this year due to a knee injury.

“Having also lost the 2008 final to Tara after a replay, it made it all the harder to take. St. Brendan’s were managed by Bernie McManamon, who is a brother of the former Mayo centre forward Colm. But the great thing about sport is there’s always another game to look forward to and I’ll be flying into Dublin on Sunday morning to hopefully see Mayo lift the Sam Maguire for the first time in 61 years.

The North London Shamrocks team

“With Donegal not having won the All-Ireland in 20 years, it’s going to be a very emotional occasion regardless of who wins.”

Vinny is anticipating a “fast, furious and physical” contest which he is convinced Mayo can win.

“I’m confident they can do it,” he says.

“Donegal were very impressive against Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final, but unlike Cork, Mayo will have a Plan B for them. Also, I don’t think Donegal will know as much about Mayo as Mayo know about them. James Horan has done Trojan work with this team and they still haven’t peaked. They have improved greatly since the Connacht final and I’m expecting to see them produce their best performance yet on Sunday.

“It should be a great final and hopefully Mayo will have a point or two to spare at the finish. The supporters aren’t putting them under the same pressure as they did in previous years and that can only be a good thing. With no distractions, they will be able to fully focus on the task in hand.”
Vinny played minor hurling for Mayo for three years, and also represented the county at senior level while still a minor. In 1998, he had the distinction of captaining Belmullet to a county minor hurling title and Mayo to an All-Ireland minor hurling ‘B’ success at Donegal’s expense (a good omen for Sunday perhaps?)

He also won an All-Ireland soccer title with Convent of Mercy in the same year and was honoured with the Mayo Hurler of the Year award (Liam McHale won the football equivalent).

Vinny is employed as a Plant & Transport Manager with Togher Construction Ltd in Barnet. Founded by Belmullet brothers Billy and Dave Togher, Togher Construction is an experienced reinforced concrete frame company with the ability to integrate groundwork and associated works in one package.

Togher offers its clients cost, plan and value engineering options that ensures cost certainty from the earliest stage of tender. The company has a proven track record of delivering top quality projects safely and on time, irrespective of site restraints and tight time-frames. A directly employed workforce, in-house formwork systems and fully certified plan, together with years of experience, have been central to the company’s success on a wide range of projects.