An award winning RTÉ Radio One documentary Convict of the Road blew a gale of fresh wind into the colourful sails of an amazing Kerry man.
Made by Peter Woods and Liam O’Brien in Kerry and elsewhere in 2006, the documentary probed areas of Mick ‘Ironman’ Murphy’s life that had remained shrouded in folklore up to then.
Truth behind the Legend
The truth behind the legend was larger than life and stranger than any fictional account would dare to tell.
RTÉ announced the death of the Caherciveen native and 1958 RÁS Tailteann winner last night.
Everything you could wish to know about Mick Murphy’s incredible life and times is there in the documentary – and you’ll find the link below.
Grá for Castleisland
He worked as a farm labourer and, on that account, he had a great and often expressed grá for Castleisland.
He worked here with Neilie Horan before his RÁS fame struck and spoke highly of the time he spent here and of the way he was treated in local athletics circles.
The term colourful – at its most vivid – doesn’t even begin to paint a picture of his life’s trials and tribulations.
A look at his 1958 RÁS win in today’s forensic style of analyses could only conclude it was nothing short of a miracle. He put a serious amount of planning and detailed preparations into it. Even so, every curse of Christ came down on him from above and below and from every side possible.
Lifted on to his Bike
He had to be lifted onto and strapped to his bike at the start of a stage in Tralee and Tom Daly’s great book, The RÁS covers his special year in great detail also.
“I was thrown out of home – I was a refugee when I won the RÁS – I lived in a lair in the woods,” – Mick Murphy told his documentary makers.
They brought him up the Maam in Castleisland to get a flavour of the great race in 2006 as the riders gasped for air on that punishing hill between the valley and Listowel.
Life Story an Inspiration
His life story is an inspiration to anyone struggling with any kind of hardship or setback.
He just put the head down and did what he had to do to stay ahead of the pack and he rode away from it all.
And now he has left the pack behind him again. May God be good to him.
You can listen to the documentary here: https://soundcloud.com/doc-on-one/a-convict-of-the-road