Phil Murphy (my grandfather) 1899-1979
During Easter week 85 years ago Phil Murphy and other volunteers were called upon to play their part in what was to become known as the the Easter Rising of 1916. It was this bid to fight for the right of self determination of the Irish people that led to the eventual formation of the Irish Republic.
Writing this reminds me of the passing of all of these men, who lived locally. When I was growing up, there were numerous men and women in this area who were veterans of this war. I remember not paying much heed to that fact until they started to become scarce as old age caught up on them. I remember when the last of them died a few years ago. The area around here was a hot-bed of activists during that period and later on during the civil war.
I grew up with poorly detailed stories of the goings on during that period. Poorly detailed because of the secrecy that surrounded the activities of these people. Nonetheless the activists were well known in the area. There was, however, always disagreement about who did what during those fearful times.
Outside my front gate, there used to be a cross marking the spot where Lt. Nataniel Redmond (a Free State officer) was shot during the civil war. It was said that he was executed for his information gathering activities.
In regard to this period, the big changes that I see in the generation that came after me, is the way that they look upon this period. Because they did not know any of the people that took part in the activities of this period, they have a less tangible feeling for the period than people of my generation. It is a bit of a revelation to observe this. I think it is important to note this, in regard to divisions created by war. It appears that these old wounds heal in the generation that has no contact with the people who were active during such a war.
|The death occurred in
St Vincent's hospital (Elm Park) on Sunday last of Ballinavocran, Bunclody born Mr. Philip
J Murphy, 31 Crumlin Road, Dolphin's Barn, Dublin, who was a veteran of the 1916 Rising in
his native Wexford.
During Easter Week, 1916, he was on active service at Enniscorthy with 'A' Coy, 1st. Batt. of the I.R.A. After the Rising, he went on the run and was active in North Wexford during the Black and Tan era. He was interred in Mountjoy and Portlaoise in the 1920-21 period.
After the treaty he took the Republican side and was again interred in Mountjoy, where in 1923 with Dr. Jim Ryan, Mike Hilliard and Martin Mullally, he completed a 40 day hunger strike.
He later served in the Irish army as a sergeant in the 14th Batt. at Griffith Barracks 1939-1946. On leaving the army, he became general secretary of the Irish Taxi Co-op movement and was involved in the setting up of the first radio taxis in the country.
The remains were removed to Our Lady of Dolours Church, Dolphin's Barn on Monday evening and following Requiem Mass on Tuesday morning, interment took place in Bunclody cemetery.
He is mourned by his wife Margaret; by his sons Rory, Fr. Frank, C.S.Sp., Phil, Stephen, John, Thomas, Patrick, Anthony, Kevin, Dan and Aidan; by his daughters, Maureen, Aileen, Sr. Mary Rita, Josie, Pearl, Noreen; by grandchildren, relatives and friends-- R.I.P.