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City of Banjul
Monday, January 18, 2021

Father Murphy passes away

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According to the Bishop of Banjul,  a memorial mass will be held today, Wednesday 29 April at the holy Spirit Church in Banjul at 6pm. 

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Father Murphy as he was well known in The Gambia where he spent 40 years was born on the 13th January 1933 in Bandon Co Cork. His parents, Mary (née Coffey) and John Murphy, who had seven sons and seven daughters, later moved to Tralee.  After completing his secondary studies at Blackrock College, Murphy attended the novitiate in Kilshane and was professed in 1952. On completion of his BA in Philosophy and Irish, he prefected in St Mary’s College, Trinidad for three years from 1955, before returning to Kimmage for theology studies. He was ordained in Dublin in July 1961 by Archbishop McQuaid. The following year Fr Murphy was appointed to Nigeria where he taught English language and literature at St Pius X Secondary School in Ogoni in the Diocese of Port Harcourt until the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s.  After a short period ministering in Arundel / Brighton in England, he returned to Ireland. He was re-assigned to West Africa in January 1971, beginning a relationship of over 40 years with The Gambia. Fr Murphy served in Basse and Fullabantang before taking up teaching at St Augustine’s High School in the capital, Banjul.  Taking on the role of education secretary for the Diocese of Banjul, he was also director of radio programmes and, from 1972 to 1975, and secretary to the Bishop. He served as Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Church (Banjul) for more than 30 years and was closely associated there with the highly-respected ‘Baati Linguere’ church choir.  He retired as parish priest in 2010 and in the same year was honoured by the country’s president, being admitted to the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia. In 2011, he celebrated the golden jubilee of his ordination along with eleven other Irish Spiritan missionaries. He transferred to Kimmage in 2013.

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