| 12.7°C Dublin

'Dad's very nurturing and loving, and I'm like that,too'

Three famous fiances, but dad is the constant man in star lisa's life

Des Murphy is the father of model, businesswoman and star of Dublin Wives, Lisa Murphy. He met his wife Eileen at 16, and they were married seven years later in 1967. They had four children – Paul, who sadly passed away in 1995, Lisa, Noel and Kira, and have four grandchildren, Sophia (6), Alanna (3), Megan (2) and Charlie (8 months).

Growing up in Ballinteer, Lisa recalls having a very loving and harmonious childhood. "My memories are very special, as I had such a happy childhood," she says.

"Dad worked around the clock to give us everything, but we weren't spoiled because Mum kept us grounded. He came home every Friday with chocolate, so I have him to thank now that I'm a chocoholic."

The witty Des says that Lisa was very quiet and studious growing up, and never gave any trouble. "Lisa was beautiful, and she was always good," he says. "Kira was probably a bit wilder. Lisa used to go out with the girls, and as she didn't drink for ages, she was always the one making sure everyone got home."

Lisa says that her dad wasn't strict, and while her mother was stricter, she had to be as the lion's share of raising the children fell to her as Des was away a few days per week for work.

"Eileen did a brilliant job, and our personalities complemented one another" he says. "If the two of us had been the same, we'd have either ruined the children, or murdered them. She comes across as tougher, but she actually has the biggest heart of the lot of us."


"Dad was so easy-going, but if something was a no, it was a no," adds Lisa. "Although that only happened once in my life. I think we're exactly alike. Dad's personality and disposition is calm and giving and nurturing and loving, and I'm like that, too. We're very sentimental and soft, and, I suppose, a bit naive. I can always go to him and he just listens, and as I talk, I know what the answer is myself. Dad doesn't give opinions and he doesn't judge, which is exactly like me."

Lisa says that the whole family bonded even more after the devastation they experienced when her brother Paul, who had special needs, was killed in a car accident in 1995.

She may always look stunning and groomed, but Lisa loves nothing more than to spend time at home in her velour tracksuits, with no make-up on. Her dad loves to tease her about how glamorous she is when she comes down in the morning, complete with her ear plugs and sleep mask, and sits in his favourite chair.

Being papped is nothing new for the star, as her dad was always keen on photography and filming, and even has video footage of Eileen when she was pregnant with Lisa.

She was catapulted into the limelight as her three former fiances, boxer Joe Egan, dancer Michael Flatley and solicitor Gerald Kean, were all well known, but that was just a coincidence as the warm and grounded Lisa is a very private and discreet person who doesn't seek the limelight.

So, does the fact that some people have the wrong impression of his daughter upset Des?

"If she's hurt in any way, I feel sad, but she's well able to handle herself," he says. "I got on very well with her previous boyfriends, and they all said she was the nicest person they ever met. Her looks are just a bonus. Lisa has a heart of gold, and that's why her relationships lasted a long time. It wasn't her fault that they didn't work out. She's like me in that I don't fall out with people or hold grudges."

"Mum would have had more of an opinion on boyfriends, but dad just goes with the flow," says Lisa, adding that Des has always been the constant man in her life.

"If I was having a problem, I'd never really tell them anyway as I like to protect them. We're all very emotional as a family and we take things to heart, and while I'm out there at events and things, I still remain private and dignified."

Des says that he is proud of Lisa for this, as she has never spilled the beans on any of her relationships and says she never will.

He would love to see her find love and have "loads of children", because her nieces and nephew adore her and she is wonderful with them. "Lisa's mother worries about her more than I do, but I think I understand her better because she is more like me," he says. "She's too soft and forgiving, but I hope she never changes because that's just her."

NO GRUDGES: Des Murphy and his famous daughter Lisa