Tributes to Wexford Pike leader Bill Murray

A vibrant link with the history of 1798 and the bicentenary commemorations of 1998, in particular, is severed and sadly been lost forever with the sad passing of William ‘Bill’ Murray, Templenacroha, Clonroche. Tributes have been pouring in for the family since the sad news occurred.

Many tributes have been paid. On social media Brian Ó Cléirigh said; “Every member of Oulart Hill Development Group and all surviving members of the Oulart Hill Pike Company would like to add their voices to so many others to mark the passing of Wexford Pike Leader Bill Murray and to express to his wife Maura and family our sincere sympathy at this sad time.”


Bill Murray was the leader of the Carrigbyrne Pike Group established in 1997 with the aim of commemorating the dead of 1798 who became synonymous with ‘98 events at home and abroad. Membership grew to 500 and they proudly shouldered their pikes all over Ireland and made two trips abroad to New York and Newfoundland.

The volunteer group published two books Footsteps of ’98 and Footsteps of ’98 – the sequel. In 1999, they formed their own film production company and produced two historical documentaries March into the Midlands and Wexford’s First Rebellion.

But the classic that come from Bill Murray’s passion and inspiration was Epitaph of 1798, a book that took almost two years research to complete and used 1,000 photographs in a limited edition that includes 1798 memorials from the 32-counties of Ireland  most of the 1798 memorials in other parts of the world.

Bill was admired for his tireless enthusiasm and passion and his name will be forever associated with chronicling the events surrounding the 1998 bicentenary commemorations and ensuring that exists an everlasting published memorial to the 30,000 who died in the summer of 1798.

Brian Ó Cléirigh added; “His contribution affected everything we did. He gave us our uniform with the black pants and white shirt; he gave us our standard of discipline. God grant you glory, William Murray and open Heaven to all your men and women, all in His good time.”

Beloved husband of Maura, father of Barbara, Siobhán, Mag and Bernie, brother of Catherine and the late John and Paddy. Sadly, missed by his loving wife, daughters, sister, grandchildren Clodagh, Shauna, Ciara, Conor, Caoimhe, Tara, Cathal and Katie, sons-in-law John, Liam, C.J. and Joe, extended family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Due to the current guidelines, Bill will be laid to rest in Raheen Cemetery on Friday (July 17th) following a private family funeral in The Church of St John Paul the Second, Raheen. Those who would have liked to attend the funeral, but due to current restrictions cannot, please leave a condolence message in the ‘condolence’ section on the family notice on Family flowers only.

Please note the family home is private on Friday morning (July 17th), the family thank you for your kindness and consideration at this very difficult time. A Memorial Mass will be held at a later stage. Bill’s Funeral Mass can be viewed at 12 noon on Friday on the following link

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