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William Martin Murphy
Death Date : 26 June 1919 in Dublin
Mary Julia Lombard
Death Date : 11 Dec 1900 in Rathmines, Dublin

Dartry
Upper Rathmines
Dublin
Ireland

 

William Martin Murphy of Bantry married Mary Julia Lombard of Rathmines, Dublin on 8 Jan 1870.  The Witnesses were Daniel Sullivan and Margaret Murphy.

William Martin Murphy was born in Derrymihin, Castletownbere on 31 Dec 1844 and baptised in Castletownbere R.C. Church on 6 Jan 1845, Sponsors were T.F. Gerald and Mary Downey - he was a son of Denis William Murphy & Mary Ann Martin.
 
Mary Julia Lombard was a daughter of James Lombard & Margaret Hussy and she was baptised in 1847 in St Mary, Haddington Road, Dublin.
 
He was sent to Belvedere College in Dublin at the age of thirteen and on leaving school became a pupil in the office of John Joseph Lyons, and also attended lectures at the University. The death of his father in 1863 forced him to return to Bantry to take charge of the family building business and complete various contracts on which his father had been engaged. He expanded the business so successfully that in the 1870s he moved its headquarters to Dublin.  Some notable West Cork works included the Bantry Convent, Gas Works in Skibbereen, Galley Head lighthouse and portions of the railway to Bantry.
 
Mrs Margaret O'Connor widow of Benjamin O'Connor (senior) was rearing their three children, (Annie, John Joseph and Benjamin), and she was in poor circumstances.  William Martin Murphy helped by giving her son, Benjamin, a job in the company and eventually made him a partner.  The Company, Murphy & O'Connor Ltd., under different management, is still (2012) a thriving hardware / builder providers business in Bantry.
 
By March 1881, when he applied for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland he had become involved in the promotion and construction of tramways and was director of the Dublin United Tramways Company. After visiting the United States in 1895 he pressed for the adoption of traction by electricity rather than by horses, and the system was rapidly electrified. By 1901, according to the Irish Builder, the Dublin United Tramways Company had provided with 'the most complete and up-to-date system of electrical street traction in the British Empire'. As well as being the prime mover of the development of the Dublin tramway system, Murphy was also responsible for the construction of railways in Wexford and Rosslare, the Clara and Banagher, West and South Clare, Mitchelstown and Fermoy, Tuam and Claremorris, Skibbereen and Baltimore, and the Bantry Extension from near the Workhouse to the pier in 1892. He built tramway systems in Belfast, Cork, England, Scotland and Africa.

In addition to his contracting activities he was a co-founder of the Dublin department store, Clery & Co. and the proprietor of the Independent, Evening Herald and Irish Catholic newspapers.
 
From 1885 until 1892 he was Member of Parliament for the St Patrick's division of Dublin. 
He was a member of the "Bantry Band", an informal grouping of politicians, who came from the Bantry area.  Brothers Timothy Daniel Sullivan and Alexander Martin Sullivan were MP's.  Their sister, Eliza, was the mother of Thomas Joseph Healy, Timothy Healy and Maurice Healy and remarkably the three of these were Members of Parliament too. James Gilhooly, Bantry was also an MP.  Castletownbere born Timothy C. Harrington, his brother Edward Harrington and William Martin Murphy were MP's also, so hence the nickname of "Bantry Band".
 
A plaque on the Fáilte Ireland Tourist Office (former Courthouse) on Bantry Square reads:-

THIS PLAQUE HAS BEEN ERECTED IN COMMEMORATION OF
THE BANTRY BAND
THE SULLIVANS, HEALYS, HARRINGTONS, MURPHY AND GILHOOLY,
WHOSE BRILLIANT DEFENCE OF IRELAND'S CAUSE
IN THE BRITISH HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT
WAS ACCLAIMED BY ALL IRISHMEN.

 
William Martin was in London for the England & Wales Census 1901 and he was in Thanet, Kent for the England & Wales Census 1911.  
 
He was the originator and chief promoter of the Irish International Exhibition of 1907 but refused a knighthood from Edward VII in the same year. As a leading business man and entrepreneur in the city, he was one of the chief opponents of the workers during the Dublin strike of 1913, often called the Dublin Lock-Out.  This was a major industrial dispute in Dublin between about 20,000 workers led by James Larkin and 300 employers led by William Martin Murphy.  It lasted from 26 August 1913 to 18 January 1914, and is often viewed as the most significant industrial dispute in Irish history.  Central to the dispute was the workers' right to unionise which Murphy strongly opposed.  Larkin described him as the "most foul and vicious blackguard that ever polluted any country ... a capitalistic vampire".
 
Also in 1913 he opposed a gallery development in Dublin to house Lane paintings and this angered many including W.B. Yeats who subsequently wrote some poems targeted at Murphy.
 
Although Murphy provided impressive returns for his shareholders, his labour relations' record was somewhat less impressive but it has to be agreed that William Martin Murphy was an excellent businessman of his era.
 
 
William Martin and Mary Julia had children, baptised on dates & places shown:-
 
Denis William (b. 6 Nov 1870 - Bantry). Sponsors: James Lombard, Margaret Murphy
 
Mary Margaret (b. 3 Feb 1872 - Bantry). Sponsors: James Lombard, Mary Howell
 
James Fitzgerald (born 1873)
 
Alice Maud Mary (b. 13 Sept 1874 - Bantry).  Sponsors: A. M. Sullivan, Alice Clayton
 
William Lombard (b. 8 Oct 1876 - Dublin).  Sponsors: Denis McCarthy Mahony, Sarah Lombard
 
Eileen Frances Mary (b. 1 June 1878 - Dublin).  Sponsors: Simon O'Connor, Mary Fran Downing
 
Edward Martin (b. 18 Dec 1879 - Dublin).  Sponsors: Jeremiah O'Callaghan, Dora O'Callaghan
 
Gerald Vincent (b. 21 June 1881 - Dublin).  Sponsors: George Barry, Mary Lombard
 
Eva Magdalene Mary, born Rathmines, Dublin on 17 May 1883
 
 
 

Headstone in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

 


 

William Martin Murphy


 

 
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