Emergency telephone numbers during the weekend (from the Friday) are: Catherine Morris (00353 860509449) and Sue Herlihy (07768330504).
With best wishes,
Here's the history:
Michael Edward Murphy was born in 1881 in the townland of Carrickaldreen in Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh. Mullaghbawn, a small rural community near Slieve Gullion, is situated in a valley surrounded by the hills of the Ring of Gullion.
Michael’s parents were James and Susan. His siblings were: James (who died on board the RMS Carpathia in 1918 WW1); Frank (food distributor for the IRA in various locations, later ran a pub in the Scotland Road area/Liverpool in the 1920’s and then lived in New York before returning to Dundalk in the 1950’s – now buried in Mullaghbawn); Catherine/Kate (who married Robert Pender a seafarer and died in an accident in New York) and Rose. There was also a network of extended family/relatives in the local area.
As well as going to the local school, from a young age Michael was ‘hired out’ to local farmers to work the land, which was common in rural areas. He reported of sleeping in barns and not having enough to eat.
At the age of about 14/15, Michael moved close to Altrincham in England and worked manually on the land. In subsequent years, he moved to Liverpool and worked as a seafarer on ships that transported troops to the Boer war 1899/1902. During this time he lodged in a house in Rockingham Street, Liverpool 5 (which was next to Aspinall Street).
Michael married Mary Pender (also born in 1881) from Liverpool. Mary was an only daughter and her parents originally hailed from the New Ross area, Co. Wexford. Prior to her marriage, Mary worked in a factory that manufactured cigarettes, which was situated between London Road and Skelhorne Street, Liverpool.
Michael & Mary lived in 26 Aspinall Street, Kirkdale and raised a family of 9 daughters (Susan, Molly, Johanna, Kitty, Rose, Agnes, Lily, Sadie, Ann, Joan (who died in infancy) and one son (Michael). After a series of jobs, Michael opened a greengrocers in Blackstone Street, which was close to the docks and in the Holy Cross parish. Michael had a pony (Dolly) & trap and sold fruit and vegetables to a wide area. Mary also helped out in the shop. During World War One, Michael served as a special constable in the Stanley Park area.
In 1924, Mary, at the age of 42, tragically died of TB at home - she had previously spent time in a sanatorium, where Broadgreen Hospital is now situated. Michael was left to raise his family alone. Michael’s entrepreneurial spirit carried on and he established a business as a General Dealer – his business card read “Michael Edward Murphy & Son, General Dealer.” The business (fondly known as ‘Da’s yard’) was situated on Vauxhall Road and contained a huge array of machinery, tools and steel drums. His headquarters was an old fashioned comfortable caravan.
Michael was a handsome man who dressed smartly and always wore a silk paisley scarf around his neck. He took great pride in his moustache and would tell his curious grandchildren that the sparrows liked to perch in the waxed ends. He enjoyed playing the melodeon to entertain his family. Michael was also a man of great faith and attended daily mass at 8am in St Alphonsus Church, Kirkdale and prayed in the parlour of Aspinall Street before going to work. He was generous to the Church and the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool, which was still in its planning stage.
Michael renewed his connection with Mullaghbawn in the 1920s/30s, returning to his homeland every Easter and summer. He bought land and a cottage ‘Shanroe’ and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren enjoyed many holidays there until the 1960s. Michael donated 2 stained glass windows to St Mary's church, Mullaghbawn in memory of his wife and parents. In addition, he donated a life size statue of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (the Little Flower) to whom he had a special devotion - this statue has since been removed when the church was modernised (post Michael’s death).
In the summer of 1951 Michael did not travel to Mullaghbawn as his health began to deteriorate. He told Auntie Sadie (who he shared a home with) that Mary (his wife) had waited long enough for him to join her. Michael died in September 1954 exactly 30years to the day on the anniversary of Mary’s death.