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This recording was made in Kerry General Hospital, where Mike Murphy (71) of Suragrana Glen, Cahirsiveen was convalescing after an illness. Working life began for Mike at the age of 10, when he toiled for the County Council cutting turf. He was taught by his mother how to read and write, and never went to school. He got a job working in the quarries in Kells, Co. Kerry at the age of 14, and at the same time was involved in cycle racing for money. His racing career began in earnest in 1957 and he spoke about his many great adventures while cycling and working part-time for circus companies. He then described his first attempt at winning the Rás Tailtean, bringing the first part of this interview to an end.

In part two of the interview, Mike Murphy tells stories of his days in racing in the Rás Tailtean. He describes in great detail each stage of the event, his times of exhilaration and his great disappointments. He speaks about travelling to England in 1960 to take up professional wrestling. Mike Murphy later retired to Ireland to the old farming cottage, living in very frugal circumstances and looking back to the memories of better days.

Keywords: hill farming, rural, vernacular architecture, amateur cycling, iron man, Rás Tailtean, professional wrestling

Additional information



Audio series:

Kerry county, fourth series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

45.26 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The Iron Man

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe