Christina Murphy

Journalist / Editor

Irish Times Newspaper
Castle St. Castlebar
Author's Personal Photo
A View of Castlebar Mall.
Author's Personal Photo
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Noah's Egg by Rachel Joynt at Veterinary Science Building UCD

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 & Thomas Murphy.  She had two brothers; Thomas, Noel also sisters Evelyn, Concepta also Dora.  Christina Murphy received her schooling at Breaffy National School Castlebar, St. Joseph’s Secondary School.  She graduated from University College Dublin with a B. A. Degree.  (Who’s Who & Who’s Not) Kelly Kevin 27th 1999 November edited by Journalist Maureen Cairnduff[i]


She married a fellow journalist Dermot Mullane they had one son Eric.  (November 1999)  [ii]


Christina Murphy travelled through Germany also 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 to 1975.  She acted as education correspondent from 1975-1987.  She was appointed assistant editor of The Irish Times’ during 1987.  [iii]

In 1987 she was promoted from assistant editor to duty editor in the editor’s office, the first woman to hold such a senior position:


Christina Murphy was constantly in demand as a speaker on education topics & careers.  As often as work permitted she accepted invitations to speak at parent / teacher meetings, careers con also school prizegiving’s:


Her publications included School Report-a guide to the Irish Education System in 1980 also Careers and Living  in The Irish Times  during 1981 also in 1985. [iv]

During 1979 she penned a booklet The Newspaper in the Classroom in order to highlight the way newspapers could be used within classroom situations. This led to the production of a regular Newspaper in the Classroom  that developed into the education services section of The Irish Times:


Christina Murphy’s demise occurred at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin on 15th September 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.  [v]

Christina Murphy was survived by her parents Mr. Thomas & Mrs. Dora Murphy, her sisters Evelyn, Concepta also Dora & her brothers Thomas & Noel. [vi]

She was survived by her husband, Mr Dermot Mullane, executive editor, RTE News, their son Eric (fifteen years) her parents Mr. Thomas & Mrs Dora Murphy, her sisters Evelyn, Concepta and Dora also her brothers Thomas and Noel:


They shall not Grow Old :

Following tributes were paid to Christina Murphy at the time of her passing then published in her obituary in The Irish Times.   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 during the terms of fourteen Education Ministers that read her articles not just with anticipation but a tinge of apprehension.  [vii]

Further tributes below from this site:

Kevin Myers stated that ‘Christina Murphy was the greatest journalist of her generation’ :  also ‘that from the first generation which saw that a woman could be properly ambitious about herself beyond church and hearth, and in all such ways was truly a pioneer.’ 

Dr. Art Cosgrave President of University College Dublin mentioned ‘She was a professional in every sense of the word and very many parents from all over Ireland have reason to be indebted to her for helping to unravel the mysteries of CAO applications.

Dr. Sean McDonagh Chairman of the Council of Heads of Regional Technical Colleges mentioned that Christina Murphy was a great reformer who had recognized also understood the contribution the RTCs could make to higher education in Ireland.

Mr. John Dunne Director General of the Irish Business & Employers Confederation reported : ‘Many of us owe her a personal debt of gratitude for her wideranging and practical contributions’.

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!’

Mr. George O’Callaghan General Secretary of the Secretariat of Secondary Schools  mentioned that ‘Through her writing she made many of the complex areas of education readily accessible.’

Mr. Larry McCluskey, chief executive officer of Monaghan VEC stated that ‘All of us in education have lost a good friend and colleague.’

There were tributes accorded to Christina Murphy from several notable individuals i.e. Pat Larkin, John Griffin, Simon Nugent, Shane Morris, George O’ Callaghan, John Dunne. [viii]

Members of the Church of Ireland Board of Education & Secondary Schools Committee paid tribute to Christina Murphy for her brilliance as a journalist, her inestimable contribution to education policy also the help she had given to countless parents & students (16th September 1996):


The Annual Christina Murphy Memorial Award in Journalism & Communications was established  during November 1996. [ix]



[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid




[viii] Ibid



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