Cormach Murrihy, one of the leading lights in the Irish community in New York, passed away at the weekend following a camping accident friends say.
Cormach Murrihy, his wife Vivienne and two children, have their family home in Rockland County, New York.
Murrihy, said to be in his early 40s, was a key figure in Rockland GAA, Friends of Sinn Féin in the US, a strong supporter of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and numerous other Irish activities. He emigrated to America in the late 1990s.
Murrihy was known to be the first in line whenever there was an Irish organization or an individual that needed help. He played a key role in the incredible development of the GAA in Rockland County, which now boasts four playing fields, a full clubhouse, and 400 GAA players from under-eights up. He was the Rockland GAA honoree at their annual dinner in 2010.
His successful company United Structural Works donated a 1000-capacity stand, plus goalposts, and safety netting, to the club to help it on its way. He stated to hoganstand.com that “all I wanted to do was help the community out a little bit."
He founded United Structural Works, which makes structural steel fabrications and erectors that are used in the design of well-known building projects, including the new Tappan Zee Bridge, the Freedom Tower, Chelsea Piers, and the MetLife building. The company has over 200 employees.
In 2017, it was highly praised for being an outstanding company and a huge employer in Rockland.
“We appreciate the fact that a smart businessman like Cormach Murrihy made the decision to locate and expand his business in Rockland County," County Executive Ed Day stated.
He recently returned from a trip to his native Ratoath, County Meath, and introduced a New York girls’ team over for the GAA annual young people’s festival to his local football club in Ratoath.
The company was identified, in 2015, as the biggest single contributor to the Friends of Sinn Féin group giving $20,000.
Murrihy, originally from Ratoath, County Meath, told TheJournal.ie the donation was “purely for personal reasons.”
“It’s down to the wonderful work [Sinn Féin] is doing, north and south of the border. It’s really an inspiring organization, and luckily I’m in a position [to contribute].”
President of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald deeply regretted the news of the death of Cormach.
She stated: "We learnt yesterday with great sadness of the sudden death of Cormach Murrihy in New York.
The Sinn Féin President said: “Our deepest sympathies to Cormach’s wife Vivienne, his son Cian and daughter Caoimhe , his mother Margaret and his brother Ciaran and to his many many friends in America and Ireland
Cormach was an active supporter of Friends of Sinn Féin and believed passionately in the reunification of Ireland.
He said recently: “it is what motivates me to help the fundraising efforts through Friends of Sinn Fein. I firmly believe that unity is the best future for Ireland and that it is achievable and essential for all the people of Ireland.”
Murrihy was named Rockland Economic Development Corporation Entrepreneur of the year in 2010. He also received the 2010 New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit as Entrepreneur of the Year and was recognized as one of Rockland Country's 2011 "Forty Under Forty." He had also co-founded a company, Medigro which unsuccessfully bid on a medical marijuana contract for the State of New York.