Mick Murphy cycling hero

Mike Murphy’s victory in the 1958 Ras Tailtean has the whiff of a movie script about it. He was a poor labourer who dreamt of winning Ireland’s toughest cycling race . In keeping with the best traditions of Hollywood the 26-year-old underdog, after completing an epic journey, crossed the finish line in Dublin as champion.

The myth that has grown up around Murphy and his exploits is captured in the following quote from documentary maker Liam O’Brien.

In the case of the Kerry cyclist Mike Murphy, ‘The Iron Man’, the truth exceeds the legend and the legend… Well the legend goes a bit like this: he trained with weights made from stones, he made a living as a circus performer, on one stage in the 1958 Ras, after his bike had broken down, he stole an ordinary bicycle from a farmer and chase down the leading pack. It’s said that he rode for three days with a broken collarbone, that he would cycle for forty miles having completed a grueling stage just to cool down, that he drank cow’s blood and ate raw meat .it said he was indestructible.

O’Brien’s documentary, convict on the road, is the story of Mike Murphy as told in his own words. It can be listened to by clicking on the following link to the RTE website.

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5 Responses to “Mick Murphy cycling hero”

  1. brendan gallagher Says:

    I remember him well He is indeed a legend and one of the all times greats of Irish cycling . Ithink there is plenty of material there for a movie .Up and coming director Vincent Gallagher would be interested

  2. John Says:

    I agree Brendan. But hurry before the old guy is no more. The contact is VIncent Wood in RTE, he knows him well and did the radio doc on him. Best of luck

  3. adrian parkinson Says:

    2011
    i met mick recently, he is still in good form, he is a very special man, and a great friend.

  4. website design Says:

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  5. myles murphy Says:

    what an inspirational man,i only came across him while reading the ras history.he is a national treasure and should be taken care of by the state,may you have a healthy and fullfilling life mick and may you reap the rewards of your efforts in the next life .

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