Catherine Murphy (politician)

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For other people named Catherine Murphy, see Catherine Murphy (disambiguation).
Catherine Murphy
Catherine Murphy politician.jpg
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
March 2011
In office
March 2005 – May 2007
Constituency Kildare North
Kildare County Councillor
In office
July 2008 – March 2011
Constituency Leixlip
In office
June 1991 – March 2005
Personal details
Born (1953-09-01) 1 September 1953 (age 61)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Independent
Other political
Workers' Party (1983–92)
Democratic Left (1992–99)
Labour Party (1999–2003)
Spouse(s) Derek Murphy
Children 2
Website Official website

Catherine Murphy (born 1 September 1953) is an Irish independent politician from Leixlip in County Kildare. She was re-elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election having served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kildare North constituency from 2005 to 2007.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

Murphy was raised in Palmerstown in Dublin but moved to Leixlip in 1978. She is married to Derek Murphy and has two children.

Political career[edit]

Workers' Party of Ireland and Democratic Left[edit]

Originally she became involved in campaigns against high local service charges in Leixlip, she joined the Workers' Party of Ireland in 1983. She first held political office in 1988 when she was elected to Leixlip Town Commission, representing the Workers' Party. She stood unsuccessfully as a Workers' Party candidate for the Leinster constituency at the 1989 European Parliament election and for the Kildare constituency at the 1989 general election.[2]

In 1991 she was elected to Kildare County Council as a Workers' Party councillor for Celbridge. When the Workers' Party split in 1992, she followed Proinsias De Rossa into the new Democratic Left, and stood unsuccessfully as a Democratic Left candidate in Kildare at the 1992 and 1997 general elections.[2]

She had opposed Democratic Left's merger with the Labour Party in 1998 criticising the party as "highly opportunistic". She also stated that she would refuse to join a merged entity.[3] However in the 1999 local elections she was re-elected to the County Council for Leixlip representing the Labour Party, and also won a seat on Leixlip Town Council.


She resigned from the Labour Party in June 2003 citing what she termed "destructive internal intrigues".[4] She stood as an independent at the 2004 local elections and was re-elected to both council seats, topping the poll.[2]

Charlie McCreevy, the Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North, resigned from the Dáil in November 2004 when he was appointed as a European Commissioner. Murphy contested the resulting by-election in March 2005 as an independent candidate, and won the seat. On a low turnout, she polled slightly fewer first-preference votes than Fianna Fáil's Áine Brady, but was elected on the fifth count. Her by-election campaign had the backing of several other prominent independent TDs such as Tony Gregory and Marian Harkin.[5] Murphy's campaign was based on such issues as transport, local government, affordable housing and education, and after her victory she promised to be a "thorn in the side" of the government.[6]

At the 2007 general election, she lost her seat to her by-election opponent, Áine Brady. Brady was elected on the first and Murphy held on until the last count when Fine Gael's Bernard Durkan reached the quota through by transfers from his eliminated running mate.[7] In July 2008, she regained the council seat she had formerly held before her election as a TD (due to the dual mandate) when the councillor that replaced her, Gerry McDonagh, resigned his seat.

She was re-elected to the council at the 2009 local elections, topping the poll with over 2,000 more votes than the quota. She was also re-elected to Leixlip Town Council.

Murphy officiated as the group leader for the other independent councillors, Paddy Kennedy, Seamie Moore and Pádraig McEvoy on Kildare County Council.[citation needed]

Murphy regained her Dáil seat at the 2011 general election. Áine Brady was eliminated at the fourth count. She sits in the Technical Group where she is the chief whip.[8]

On 20 September 2011, Murphy confirmed she had signed papers nominating David Norris for the 2011 presidential election, she said, "to ensure that [Senator David Norris] can be judged not by fellow politicians but by the people of Ireland."[9]

She was critical of the household charge describing it as a “fundamentally unfair” one.[10]


  1. ^ "Ms. Catherine Murphy". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c "Catherine Murphy". Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  3. ^ Kevin, Rafter (2011). Democratic Left: The Life and Death of and Irish Political Party. Irish Academic Press. p. 314. ISBN 978-0-7165-3111-1. 
  4. ^ "Murphy blames 'destructive intrigues' for resignation". KildareNet News. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Murphy gets independents’ boost as campaign hots". Kildare Nationalist. 23 February 2005. Retrieved 2 January 2008. 
  6. ^ Michael O'Farrell (14 March 2005). "Murphy to be ‘thorn in side’ of the Government". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "General Election, 24 May 2007: Kildare North". Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  8. ^ Collins, Stephen (8 March 2011). "Independents agree grouping". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Fianna Fáil will not back Áras candidate". RTÉ News. 20 September 2011. 
  10. ^ O'Halloran, Marie (14 December 2011). "Government accused of chasing taxpayers 'to graveyard' for charge". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Charlie McCreevy
(Fianna Fáil)
Independent Teachta Dála for Kildare North
Succeeded by
Áine Brady
(Fianna Fáil)
Preceded by
Áine Brady
(Fianna Fáil)
Independent Teachta Dála for Kildare North