William Martin Murphy: the legacy


Sir, – Vincent Browne’s belated realisation (Opinion, December 4th) that William Martin Murphy was the real victor of 1913 is to be welcomed. So is his conclusion that the most poisonous legacy of Murphyism (the man himself modestly christened his ideology thus) was its value system. Its central tenets were avarice, paternalism, property, religion and respectability, which were to become the ideological pillars of the Irish Free State.

Neo-liberalism has replaced neo-Redmondism, having dispensed with religion and respectability in the process. Would Murphy be happy with the new dispensation if he were alive today? Probably not. Would it prevent him from making even more money in the country dubbed by Forbes magazine as the world’s “best country for business”? Certainly not.

He would no doubt console himself that the social solidarity values of Larkinism, if not banished completely, were in retreat and pose no threat to the wealthy elite he personifies. – Yours, etc,


Station Road,


Co Dublin.