Meet the Murphys, County Limerick

Imagine going to school to not only learn Irish, English and Maths, but to be educated on how to care for and train greyhounds?  Well, that is exactly how Jim Murphy’s journey to greyhound racing started.  His Athlacca NS principal Mick Daly enjoyed a second career in rearing greyhounds and Jim became part of his kennel staff.  Days were spent cleaning kennels, walking dogs, and heading off to trialling sessions in Mitchelstown.

He must not have spent all his time on the greyhounds however, as Jim went to work as an aircraft engineer.  This meant long periods of time working away from home, including a stint in Iran where he was evacuated from in 1979 due to the Revolution.  The following years were calmer and he did choose well when it came to his partner as wife Kay managed the home-front and the family grew to include sons James & Mark and daughter Muireann.

Picture shows three generations of the Murphy family in County LImerick and their retired racing greyhound Clonbrien Prince at home in Limerick. They are one of the hundreds of families across Ireland united by their love of greyhounds and the sport of greyhound racing.

Throughout this time Jim enjoyed the role of a silent partner owner in several greyhounds with his brother Ned, and it was not until his retirement that he branched out on his own.  Ned had bought the dam Trout or Salmon and it was one of her litters that Jim purchased a pup to be named Clonbrien Hero!

This champion went on to win the Produce Stakes, The Laurels, The St. Leger, Race of Champions and on The Night of Stars.  

The next they chose was Clonbrien Prince – an English Derby Finalist (who won every heat throughout the competition and the unfortunate trap draw meant it was not to be for the final).  He is now retired at home, enjoying his post-race career!

It was not long before other family members got the ownership buzz as daughter Muireann and wife Kay became joint owners of Clonbrien Treaty ( who is out of Clonbrien Millie, a granddaughter of Trout or Salmon and bred by another brother of Jim's, Jerry Murphy) and seem to have continued the family knack for picking winners as he went on to win the Con & Annie Kirby 2023 – the richest juvenile race in Ireland!  

They have now been joined by the next generation with the arrival of grandson Ollie, so whatever is next for Clonbrien Team, it is certainly one to keep an eye on!

Visit grireland.ie/ourpeoplethegenerations to learn more about the generations of families across Ireland united by their love of greyhounds and our sport...