herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Murphy fought at Boland's Mill and was adviser to de Valera

Rebel stories

Charles Murphy
Charles Murphy

Charles Murphy was born in 1880 and grew up at Albert Place East, just off Lower Grand Canal Street, in Dublin. He lived there with his mother and father and four of his six brothers.

On leaving school at Westland Row CBS, Charles worked as a clerk in a solicitor's office. Before the Rising he joined the Irish Volunteers and was a member of B Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, fighting at Boland's Mills during Easter Week - which was located less than 200 feet from his family home.

Prior to the Rising, Charles had been involved in Sinn Fein and was also a member of the IRB.

According to third-party accounts, Charles was active at the Boland's Garrison during Easter Week, where he was posted as a second lieutenant to Commandant Eamon de Valera.

He would remain close to de Valera up to the foundation of Fianna Fail.

Along with Sean McMahon, Charles is credited with persuading de Valera to rescind his order to set fire to Westland Row train station at the end of Easter Week. It was feared that the fire would spread to Westland Row Church and the CBS school.

After the Rising, Charles was interned in Frongoch. On his release he managed Arthur Griffith's newspapers, became a Dublin Corporation councillor and a TD. He was imprisoned during the War of Independence and the Civil War, in which he took the anti-Treaty side.

Charles and his wife, Annie Funge, married in 1918. They had a long friendship with Elizabeth O'Farrell - the nurse who accompanied Pearse when the latter surrendered. O'Farrell was midwife for their six children, three of whom are still alive today.

Charles worked up until his death in 1958 at the age 78. He refused to accept a State or Army pension, or any medals, as he felt that to do so would be a betrayal of the republic to which he pledged an oath in 1916.

Details submitted by Brian Murphy (grandson)

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