Famous for spearheading the opposition to the Irish Transport and General Workers Union led by James Larkin and resulted in the Dublin Lockout of 1913, he would become known as 'William Murder Murphy'. 

His life however was much more than the events of the rebellion. Born in 1845 in west Cork he was the eldest son of a successful building contractor Denis Murphy. His mother Mary Anne died when he was just 4 years old. Following his father's death when he was just 17 years old, William took over the family business in Cork expanding it building churches, and schools as well as railways and trams right across Britain, West Africa and South America.

On the back of his success, he moved to Dublin in 1875 remaining a strong Catholic who supported the nationalist agenda.  He grew up and remained a strong Nationalist Catholic who fiercely opposed Unionism. 

With his construction business in full flight, he expanded into publishing. In 1905 after purchasing the Irish Daily Independent and the Daily Nation, he launched the Irish Independent which would become the best-selling newspaper in Ireland. In 1906 he founded the Sunday Independent.

He was elected into politics following the 1885 general election however when the Irish Parliamentary Party dissolved in 1890 he lost his seat.  A former Irish Party MP, Mr Murphy refused an offer of a knighthood in 1907.

Despite this following his death Timothy Harrington, editor of the Irish Independent, the flagship paper of the Independent group, said that for those who were intimately associated with him in ‘one of his greatest enterprises he was at all times kindly, considerate, accessible, helpful and what is more, he was generous, as many can testify, in his dealings with his staffs, especially in times of illness, affliction, or misfortune’.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 6th Jan 1845
Date of Death 26th Jun 1919
Associated Building (s) Glasnevin Cemetery  
Occupation Began as a builder in his father's business, after his death he took the business over Politician - An MP representing Dublin from 1885 to 1892 In 1905 after purchasing the Irish Daily Independent and the Daily Nation, he launched the Irish Independent and became the best-selling newspaper in Ireland. In 1906 he founded the Sunday Independent
Father (First Name/s and Surname) Denis William Murphy (1799-1863)
Number of Siblings 2 brothers and 1 sister
Number of Siblings Margaret Cullinane (married John Cillinane) died in 1936
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Martin Jane Martin died in 1849
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) In 1870 he married Mary Lombard at the age of 25, Mary’s father James Lombard had amassed a fortune in the Dublin Drapery business. James Lombard supported many of Murphy’s ventures.
Townland born Castletownbere, County Cork
Number of Children 5 sons and 3 daughters
View less entries

Some communities associated with this ancestor