Professor John A. Murphy is one of Cork’s greatest scholars. He has spent most of his working life on the campus at University College Cork, and still has his own office there, where this recording was compiled. He begins by declaring his pride in being made a Freeman of Macroom. He talks in great detail about his background and his schooldays. He was the youngest of four children, and came from a strong political tradition. The person who influenced him most in his life was Paddy Desmond, who taught him in school and instilled in him the love of books. John A. Murphy won a scholarship to secondary school, and later to UCC. Once in college he became acutely aware of the personalities there, such as Professor Daniel Corkery, and Professor James Hogan who became his mentor. After qualifying, he taught History and English in Farranferris for ten years, and was the only lay teacher amongst the priests there. He speaks about the reasons why he returned to UCC, where he was to succeed James Hogan in the History Department. The conversation then switched to his participation in an intellectual discussion group, which included people such as Sean Hendrick, Daithi Collins, Louis Marcus, Sean O’Riordan, Colum Feely, Aideen and John O’Shea and Robert Law. The group would congregate regularly in the bar of the Palace Theatre in MacCurtain Street in the late 1970s. John A. Also spoke about his time chairing committees and standing for election on the Graduates’ Panel for Seanad Éireann.