Monday 19 March 2018

Michael Dwyer: Martin Murphy wasn't the villain of folklore's tales

I don't begrudge anyone a story and in truth, with Labour in government and Michael D in the Aras, who didn't expect to enjoy and endure a year's worth of commemorations of the 1913 Lockout.

It is the founding myth of the Irish Left and comes populated with all we expect of a good myth: heroes, villains, prophets and martyrs.

The ogre of the piece was William Martin Murphy; I remember my grandmother's venom when she spoke of him. In her mouth his name sounded like a blasphemy. Grinder of the poor. Plutocrat. Redmondite. In my childish understanding there was no nuance, this was an uncomplicatedly bad man.

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