Joe Murphy (b. 1940)
10.0020.00 Select options

Joe Murphy (b. 1940)


Want unlimited access to the Irish Life and Lore Oral History Archive? Subscribe by purchasing Gold Subscription, Silver Subscription or Bronze Subscription!

The Brady family lived in Montgomery Street (now Foley Street), the district then known as ‘Monto’. His maternal grandfather came originally from Co. Cavan. He worked with Dublin Corporation and he and his wife reared twelve children. Christopher Brady was the eldest son, and he was followed by Laurence who fought in Flanders in WWI. His nephew, Joe Murphy, knew him in later life and he remarks that his mother never spoke about Larry’s life because he had served with the British Army. Brigid Brady and her brother Christopher were members of the Citizen Army, and Brigid was involved in the 1913 Lockout at a time she was employed at Jacob’s. She volunteered at Liberty Hall at this time. Her first cousins were Patrick and William Pearse. Joe explains that his great-grandfather and the Pearse’s mother’s father were one and the same. The Pearse side of the family was educated though his maternal family was less so, he says. Brigid Brady was 12 years of age when her mother died. Joe discusses his mother’s activities, which included involvement in route marches and the collection of materials for bomb-making. Brigid was in City Hall during the Rising and her brother Christopher was at Dublin Castle. Both were arrested and taken to Ship Street Barracks. Brigid was then taken to Kilmainham Gaol where she was to spend ten days. Christopher was removed to Wandsworth Prison and sent on to Frongoch. After his release he returned to Dublin but he died not long afterwards. Brigid lived a long life and died at the age of 92. Joe mentions the plaque at City Hall which commemorates their part in the Rising. He remembers being sent by his mother with messages to Rosie Hackett who lived on Railway Street. He describes an episode when his mother helped Madame Markievicz carry weapons, and he recalls her being interviewed by RTÉ many years ago. Fortunately she had documented what she could recall, and Joe reads excerpts from this document regarding his mother’s activities in the period before the Rising and about her time in City Hall. She mentions a union badge, shaped like a four-leaf clover. In her written memoir, Brigid conveys her impression that her brother Christopher’s burial in the family grave at Glasnevin Cemetery in late January 1917 was the first republican funeral to be held in Ireland. Joe explains that both of his parents were afforded military funerals in Balgriffin Cemetery. Joseph Murphy supported the anti-Treaty side during the Civil War and his wife Brigid supported him in this stance. He was in the Four Courts in June 1922. He was arrested and served ten months in Mountjoy Prison and one year and two months in the Curragh. Joe explains that his father never spoke much about this time. He reflects on his parents’ struggle for Irish freedom. His father was not in receipt of a pension but his mother did get the 1916 pension because of her membership of the Irish Citizen Army. He has a copy of her pension application made in 1937. Joe’s grandfather, Samuel Murphy, came from Little Bray in Co. Wicklow. His son Joseph notes that Samuel was educated, because people would come to him to read and write documents for them. Joseph Murphy had difficulty gaining employment when he was released from prison, but eventually found employment in the civil service. Joe examines the Pearse family tree and explains the connection between himself and Patrick Pearse. His grandfather, Walter Brady, was the older brother of Margaret Brady, mother of P. H. Pearse, and thus Joe is second cousin to Patrick Pearse. He believes that a certain class distinction existed between the two branches of the family. He examines a photograph of Cumann na mBan and Irish Citizen Army women, and identifies his mother in the group. He describes his family research in recent years. Joe recalls the fact that his mother was always very respectful of the people of 1916, referring to them with their full title, such as Mr Connolly and Madame (Countess Markievicz).

Additional information



Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

35.69 MB

Number of files:
Product ID:



Brigid Brady (Interviewee’s mother), Christopher Brady (Interviewee’s uncle), Joseph Murphy (Interviewee’s father)

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore