Murphys of Mullaghbawn

Michael Murphy left Mullaghbawn in South Armagh for Liverpool at the start of the 20th century. It was here he married Mary Pender. This is the story of their nine daughters and one son, their children and grandchildren. "Cead Mille Failte"

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Baby Girl for Stas and Lily!

Stas and Lily Van Bilderbeek have a new arrival! Baby Ivy Cecilia Mary was born 10th April 2015.
She joins brothers: Anastasio (Berty), Fin (Finbar) and Victor (Sonny)
Congratulations to mum and baby, and all the family!
Here she is with her brothers!
God Bless.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Murphy Family Reunion May 2016

Cathy Hegarty has been working tirelessly to chose a suitable venue for the Murphy Family Reunion 2016, and in the year of the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin, she has selected Mullaghbawn - home of our forefathers,
Here is the information from the Cathy - for those who have framily members with no access to the internet, please pass this on.
Thanks Cathy & the Reunion Team.

Get on your starting blocks, the Reunion Team is back with more information, as promised!  Please, please share this with your family members who are not on Facebook.
As you may already know, on 28th May 2016, the Murphy Family Reunion will take place in Mullaghbawn, County Armagh, birthplace of Michael Murphy, where the Murphy dynasty started out.
The event is being held at Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre, Mullaghbawn (  The website tells you about some of the activities nearby, for anyone who wants to make it into a mini-break.
The cost of the event is £25 per adult, £10 for under 15s, to cover the venue, live music by local traditional musicians, disco, hot and cold buffet on Saturday and hot lunch buffet on Sunday. 
If you plan to be a part of this great occasion, please confirm names to this email address: We will send payment instructions once we receive your email.  Please be patient if it takes a couple of days to get a response.
So, it’s time to start booking your flights, ferries and accommodation….
Either Dublin or Belfast will be your port of arrival by air or ferry.  Transport to Mullaghbawn can be by bus, taxi or car, but we expect groups will be able travel together, which will help keep the costs manageable. 
Some contacts for accommodation:
At Ti Chulainn, B&B is £36 per person (20 en suite rooms which accommodate between 2 - 4 people).  Contact Mary Toal on +44 (0)283 088 8828, or email her on
Bed and Breakfasts in the village:
Ethna Ryan. Telephone +44 (0)283 088 8689, Mobile +44 (0)7759 881856
Joan McCreesh. Telephone +44 (0)283 088 9390
We hope to providemore information about local accommodation later.
For those who prefer a hotel experience, the Canal Court Hotel and Spa in Newry, only 7 miles away, is recommended: we are negotiating a discounted rate, so please quote Murphy Family Reunion 2016 when you call them – if in doubt ask for Sinead. Telephone +44 (0) 283 025 1234
For those who have tents or caravans, camping should also be available nearby - details to follow.
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Family House Exhanges!

Danny & Pat Murphy's daughter Katie, has come forward offering her house for a house-exchange. If any other family members have similar ideas with regards to house-exhanges, then please send me the details, and I will post them on the blog.
Katie & husband Abraham describe their Spanish property below, together with a few photos - Katie will add to these late. You can contact Katie on her email:

Spacious four bedroom house in the suburbs of Vigo, NorthWest Spain.  Four bedrooms have double beds and one has bunk beds. The house also has three bathrooms, two garden areas and British Satellite TV.  A giant blow up paddling pool is available to set up in the garden.
 The house is in the suburbs of Vigo, a ten minute drive from Samil, the main beach, or the city centre.  Car rental is highly recommended as the bus services aren't great and the house is not centrally located, although it is very accessible by car.   Samil beach has lots of family facilities including free swimming pools and several bars and restaurants along with a long promenade for an evening walk.  Vigo is famous for the Cies islands, beautiful natural islands only a 30 minute boat ride away from Vigo port.  Other nice trips from the port include a visit the other 'ria' to the town of Cangas where there are also many beaches to explore.  More information about Vigo can be found on this website. boat tickets must be booked in advance on the internet in the summer.  Vigo also has its own old town and port, great spots for a glass of wine as you watch the world go by! 

Other great trips include a visit to the famous pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela.  Valenca in the North of Portugal is also only 20 minutes away and has a beautiful fort and along with great local shops and restaurants.  

Friday, January 02, 2015

Happy New year from the Celtic Hearts!

John Murphy and co. continue making great music in their band 'Celtic Hearts.'
Details of how to hear the music are:
Link to sound cloud:   then type in "the celtic hearts spread your wings" into the search bar


iTunes link:

For just type in "the celtic hearts spread your wings" in the search bar

I think we're also on Spotify.

We're on the internet radio station:   every Thursday at 5am/11am/5pm and 11pm

Monday, November 24, 2014

Alan Ashcroft: Waterloo, England & British & Irish Lions

The picture below shows Alan Ashcroft in his England RFC jersey. He represented England 8 times, and was also selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia in 1959 as flanker, when they defeated the Wallabies in Brisbane. In the team that day was Irish wingman Tony O'Reilly, who bagged 2 tries in the 17-6 victory.

Historic Pender-Murphy Sporting Connection

This photograph is amazing, both from a sporting context as well as a family one.
Michael Murphy, of the 15 Murphy children, attended St. Mary's Grammar School in Crosby. He captained the school's first XV Rugby tean, then after leaving school played for St. Mary's Old Boys.
His prodigious rugby talents were soon noticed by Waterloo RFC who quickly signed him up, together with Mick's old school-mate, Mick Collins. In the photograph we see Mick Murphy in the back row, and Mick Collins in the front. But also in the front row is A. Ashcroft, an England International, and also a British Lions player.
Alan Ashcroft is the daughter of Maggie Ashcroft (née Pender), who was the daughter of Tom Pender,  the brother of our grandmother, Mary Pender (Da's wife). If you look at an earlier blog posting, sent  in by Duncan, (great grandson of Tom Pender), you'll see a picture of Alan as a young boy, with brothers Wally (Duncan's father) Dougie, and mother Maggie.
A big thank you to Mick Murphy and son Michael, who dug out this treasured photograph from Mick's sporting archives!

Thomas Pender and Family Connections

From Des Herlihy:
I spent a couple of hours today in Liverpool with Duncan Ashcroft and his wife Sue.   Duncan is a Pender and has done a lot of research into the Penders and also the Murphys.  Our grandfather, Michael Murphy, married Mary Pender in Liverpool.  At their wedding, Da's sister, Katherine met one of Mary's brothers, Robert Pender.  They ended up getting married and had two children, Mary and James.  Us Herlihys knew Mary and Jimmy well growing up in New York.  Da's wife, Mary had another brother, Thomas.  His photograph has been in the reunion exhibition and is shown here.  This makes him our great uncle.  He was a merchant seaman for 40 years out of Liverpool.  Our connection to the Penders is therefore a strong one which would explain the regard and fondness our parents had for the Penders.  Older cousins would know Tommy Pender who would have been their age.  Duncan did not know which Pender was his father.  There was a Joseph Pender who was another of Mary's brothers so maybe that is his father.  Robert Pender's death is recorded as a maritime death in 1919 on the vessel Otaki.  His and Kate's children, Mary and Jimmy, were taken by our great grandmother, Susan Murphy, to live in Mullaghbawn while Kate worked on Cunard ships.  They joined her in New York in 1927.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

James Maurice Herlihy - Uncle Jim

Des Herlihy has been adding to his research on his father's brother Jim. I'll let him tell the story.
My Uncle, Jim Herlihy, was my father's brother; he used to visit us when we were kids in New York. Below is a Wikipedia entry I wrote a while ago.
'James Maurice Herlihy was born in Kilkenny, Ireland on 29 January 1914 and died in San Francisco California on 23 October 1962. Jim was the second child of Maurice O'Herlihy and Ellen O'Herlihy (née O'Regan). His siblings were Lil, Patrick, Kathleen and Sheila. The family home was at 28 Wolfe Tone Street, Kilkenny. He went on to have a professional career in England and mostly in Liverpool. He boxed for Ireland in a tournament in Nottingham. Jim kept a record of his career made up of programmes and newspaper clippings. The programmes are very rare. He was a sparring partner of Bruce Woodcock, a British champion. Pete Best, the first drummer of The Beatles, was the grandson of Johnny Best who was a Director of Liverpool Stadium. Johnny Best arranged a fight for Jim at the Tower Blackpool in February 1943. The letter to the promoter in Blackpool is signed by Johnny Best and it is in Jim's scrapbook. Jim's fee for this fight was £20.'
I have his scrapbook in which he meticulously recorded his press cuttings. I have added photos of his trophies: runner up in 1937 as a Middleweight in the Irish National Championships and the winner as a Middleweight in the 1938 Leinster Championships. He also won a trophy for a tournament in Derry in 1938.
You will see a photograph of the Heavyweight Champion of the World, Joe Louis when he visited Liverpool during WW2. On the far right of the photo is Johnny Best, the grandfather of Pete Best, the first drummer of The Beatles. You will also see a letter from Johnny Best arranging a fight for Uncle Jim in Blackpool.
Now a quiz question. Which World Heavyweight Boxing Champion signed a contract for Liverpool FC? Answer: Joe Louis. During his visit to Liverpool a Director of Liverpool FC asked for Joe Louis' autograph. The only paper he had with him was a Liverpool FC contract and that is what Joe signed. This was told to me by a member of the Merseyside ex-Boxers' Association who set the question himself. I have added this last bit to fend off any nonsense from my bluenose cousins and friends!
McCanns and Goodhearts please note the O'Regan link: Margaret Goodheart MuirDeirdre McCann McInerneyMary Kay MulliganEileen McCann Ninivaggi Alice SinatraAnne McCann.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Happy Birthday Laura Gomez Murphy

Mother of 15 Laura Gomez Murphy celebrates her 97th birthday in heaven today.
To mark this day, we publish photographs of the newly inscribed gravestones. (click on picture to enlarge)

Happy Birthday Mum from all your wonderful children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and hundreds of nephews and nieces, friends from all over the world.