Seanad debates

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy


2:30 pm

Photo of Joe O'ReillyJoe O'Reilly (Fine Gael)
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Is ábhar bróin dom bás an iar-Sheanadóir Ó Murchú a chur in iúl don Teach. Professor John A. Murphy, who has passed on, would have been known to some Members of the House. Members will be aware that Professor Murphy was a Member of this House from 1977 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1992. He died yesterday. He was a renowned historian and lecturer and had a lifelong association with University College Cork, UCC. He received a scholarship to study history and Latin in 1945 and was appointed professor of Irish history at UCC in 1971. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1990. The Macroom man was held in such high regard by his home county that he was named Cork person of the year in 2005.

He was first elected to Seanad Éireann on the National University of Ireland panel as an Independent Member in 1977. Indeed, we have another very distinguished Member from that panel here, Senator McDowell, who may have known Professor Murphy at some point along the way. The late Senator Murphy was passionate about the availability of high-quality education for all and advocated for political and cultural inclusivity. At this sad time my thoughts are with this family. On behalf of the House, I wish to convey sincere sympathy to his children, Susan, Clíona, Brian, Hugh and Eileen, and to his extended family and friends on their loss.

I will add a little personal anecdote. After I was first elected to this House in 1989, which is a while ago, I went to the Merriman Summer School with a very distinguished former Member of this House who had preceded me, Senator Andy O'Brien, who would be known to Senator Vincent P. Martin. Senator O'Brien and I went to the school and on the night in question we met Senator John A. Murphy. It was an extraordinary experience to spend an evening in his company. He was a great raconteur, a very brilliant man, and he held the entire place in awe. One could hear a pin dropping all night as he recorded stories upon stories. Arís, ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Glaoim anois ar Cheannaire an Tí, agus beidh rún aici níos déanaí.

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Fine Gael)
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A chairde, at the end of the Order of Business I will ask you to join me in passing a motion for the expression of sympathy on the death of our former colleague, John A. Murphy.