Journalist / Editor
This outstanding Journalist was widely regarded as the foremost Commentator of the Irish Education System in Ireland.
Christina Murphy was born in Breaffy, Co. Mayo during 1941. She was daughter of Dora and Thomas Murphy. She had two brothers; Thomas and Noel also sisters Evelyn, Concepta plus Dora. Christina Murphy received her schooling at Breaffy National School Castlebar, St. Joseph’s Secondary School plus graduated from University College Dublin with a B. A. Degree.[i]
She married a fellow Journalist Dermot Mullane they had one son, Eric. Christina Murphy travelled through Germany and Spain prior to working with the Young Citizen from 1968 to 1972. Followed then by acting as Woman’s Editor of the Irish Times Living Section from (1972– 1975.) She was Education Correspondent from 1975–1987. She was appointed Assistant Editor of the Irish Times during 1987. [ii]
Her Publications included; “School Report – a guide to the Irish Education System” (1980), “Careers and Living” in the Irish Times during 1981 plus 1985. [iii]
Christina Murphy died at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin on September 15th 1996. Her Ecumenical Service was held in Sanford Church, Ranelagh. It was conducted by Canon Des Harmon assisted by a family friend Fr. Martin Clarke. She is buried at St. Fintan’s Cemetery in Sutton, North Dublin.[iv]
The following Tributes were paid to Christina Murphy at the time of her passing, and published in her Obituary in the Irish Times, September 1996. The former Education Minister Mary O’Rourke reported that Christina Murphy was a happy, warm person whose greatest attribute was her clarity of thought. There are very few people of whom we can say “they made a difference” but she did. She brought education into everyday life for ordinary people. Her overriding passion cut through bureaucracy. She worked at a time of fourteen terms of Education Ministers that read her articles not just with anticipation but a tinge of apprehension.
Kevin Myers stated that “Christina Murphy was the greatest journalist of her generation,” also that” from the first generation which saw that a women could be properly ambitious about herself beyond church and hearth, and in all such ways was truly a pioneer.”
Members of the Church of Ireland Board of Education and Secondary Schools Committee paid tribute to Christina Murphy for her brilliance as a journalist, her inestimable contribution to education policy plus the help she had given to countless parents and students.
There were tributes accorded to Christina Murphy from many notable individuals ie; Dr. Sean Mc Donagh, Dr. Art Cosgrave, Pat Larkin, John Griffin, Simon Nugent, Shane Morris, George O’ Callaghan, Larry Mc Cluskey, John Dunne.
Paul Farrell stated that “Christina Murphy was a first – rate journalist. She could have just as easily have become a first – class professor of education, what a presence in the groves of academe!”
The Annual Christina Murphy Memorial Award in Journalism and Communications was established to award students during November 1996.[v]
[i] Who’s Who in Ireland, (1999) edited by Journalist Maureen Cairnduff
[ii] Who’s Who in Ireland, (1999) edited by Journalist Maureen Cairnduff
[iii] Who’s Who in Ireland (1999) edited by Journalist Maureen Cairnduff
[iv] Irish Times September 19th 1996
[v] Irish Times November 14th 1996