Wednesday 16 April 2014

RTE's Michael Murphy – RTE only offered me six-month deal

Michael Murphy and Terry O'Sullivan who got married at the Registar of Civil marriages and Civil partnership in 2011
Pic:Mark Condren
Michael Murphy and Terry O'Sullivan who got married at the Registar of Civil marriages and Civil partnership in 2011 Pic:Mark Condren

NEWSMAN Michael Murphy is ready to leave RTE if his contract is not renewed by March.

The broadcaster, who overcame cancer, has revealed that his employers presented him with a six month contract for the first time, last October.

In three months, the 65-year-old may be leaving Montrose.

Murphy, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, has been working part-time at the national station for 40 years, as a continuity announcer, newsreader and producer.


He is the same vintage as Pat Kenny, the two trained together when they joined in 1971.

“They called me in and sort of said, ‘because of your age, you may not be receiving a contract', it was left as vague as that,” he said.

“I did receive one in the end, for six months. I don't worry (but) I don't know if it will be renewed. I'd be fine if it wasn't though, there are other irons in the fire.”

Stoking that fire is the thriving practice that Murphy shares with his partner Terry O'Sullivan, next to the Beacon Hospital in Dublin's Sandyford.

The couple, both psychoanalysts, have been together 28 years and tied the knot two years ago.

There's also the prospect of lecturing at several universities in the US, as well as the publication of Murphy's fourth book in February.

Commissioned by Gill and Macmillan, the book is about self-affirmation.

“The working title is What Truly Matters, it's a self help book, but without the steps involved,” Murphy said.

“People are good enough, that's basically the message.”

And he believes in practicing what you preach.

“After something like cancer, you have to make your life count for something.

“I've no expectations anymore – death can come knocking on the door at any moment,” the broadcaster said.

Murphy discovered he had prostate cancer in 2007. “I'm lucky to be above ground,” he said.

“The choice was radiotherapy, chemotherapy or to take the prostate out, and as a ticking bomb, that's what I chose, to have it removed.

“That really changes a lot of elements in your life straight away.”

Murphy suffered impotence after the prostatectomy and was one of 2pc of people for whom continence didn't return, so he underwent another operation.


He said: “That was life-changing, but it was a messy business. Terry carried me through all that, because after the initial, shocking diagnosis of cancer, you're inclined to shut down. You need someone with you through all the important stuff.

“I didn't hear it, but doctors told me that if I got through five years, I'd be fine.”

Six years on and with the all -clear, the newsreader radiates positivity.

And while the era of radio for Murphy may soon be over, the time for television seems to be rolling into town.

“I do a regular segment on Today down in Cork and there are talks of a psychoanalytic series in the pipeline,” he said.

“It's going to be an exciting year.

“I'm looking forward to it.”

Irish Independent

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