Paul Murphy (Irish politician)

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For the former Northern Ireland Office minister, see Paul Murphy (British politician).
Paul Murphy
Member of the European Parliament
In office
April 2011 – May 2014
Constituency Dublin
Personal details
Born (1983-04-13) 13 April 1983 (age 31)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Socialist Party/European United Left–Nordic Green Left
Alma mater University College Dublin

Paul Murphy (born 13 April 1983) is an Irish Socialist Party politician. He was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Dublin constituency, representing the Socialist Party (European United Left–Nordic Green Left) from 2011 to 2014.[1]

He has been a member of the Socialist Party National Committee since 2001 and the National Executive Committee since 2010.[2]

Early life[edit]

Murphy grew up in Goatstown, a suburb of Dublin. His father, Kieran Murphy, was a senior manager at the Irish division of Mars, while an uncle is Michael Murphy, an RTÉ journalist and broadcaster. His family originates from Castlebar in County Mayo.[3] He studied for the Leaving Certificate at the Dublin Institute of Education before going on to graduate from University College Dublin with a degree in Law in 2004. He joined the Socialist Party in 2001 and in 2003 he unsuccessfully ran for president of the UCD Students' Union.[4] Murphy also has worked in the European Parliament with Joe Higgins as Higgins' political advisor.

A 2008 short film, which describes him as a full-time activist for the Socialist Party, follows his involvement in protests against cutbacks at Tallaght Hospital during the Irish financial crisis.[5] He is also active in Free Education for Everyone, a group campaigning against the reintroduction of fees for third-level education in Ireland.[6] In 2009 he was working on a PhD thesis titled "Does socialist law exist?"[7]

European Parliament[edit]

Murphy replaced Joe Higgins in the European Parliament after Higgins was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2011 general election.[8]

Murphy sat as a full member on the European Parliament Committee on International Trade, as a substitute on the Employment and Social Affairs and Petitions committees. He was also a full member of the South Asia Delegation and a substitute on the Central Asia delegation.


In 2011, Murphy participated in Freedom Flotilla II, which attempted to breach Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.[9] In August 2011, he visited the "No TAV" Italian campaign against the Turin–Lyon high-speed railway.[10] A supporter of the Shell to Sea campaign, in August 2011 he and others were forcibly removed from a protest by Gardaí. A complaint was submitted to the Garda Ombudsman alleging unreasonable use of force.[11]

In early November 2011, Murphy was reported to be part of another Gaza flotilla described as a humanitarian mission.[12] Israeli forces boarded the ship on 4 November and imprisoned Murphy and all the other activists on board, with one of them saying this was carried out in a "violent and dangerous" manner.[13][14] Israel deported Murphy on 11 November.[15]

In 2012, Murphy set up the website for people wishing to share their experiences of the government's JobBridge scheme.[16]

In June 2013, he travelled to Istanbul, Turkey to speak with activists taking part in the occupation of Taksim Square.[17]

2014 election campaign[edit]

Murphy stood for re-election in 2014. In response to the illegal erection of posters by Fianna Fáil candidate Mary Fitzpatrick, Murphy erected some of his posters too early, causing some controversy.[18][19]

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) upheld a complaint against the Irish state broadcaster RTÉ which excluded Murphy from a report on the findings of a Sunday Business Post/Red C opinion poll on a news programme which they aired on 3 May 2014.[20]

He lost his seat at the 2014 European Parliament election.

He will be a candidate at the 2014 Dublin South–West by-election.


  1. ^ "Paul Murphy". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "European Parliament website". European Parliament. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Pillars of Society: Paul Murphy". The Phoenix. 1 June 2012. pp. pg17. 
  4. ^ "To Fight Fees: Vote Paul Murphy No.1 for President". Socialist Party. February 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Plunkett, Sean (14 June 2008). "Which Side Are You On?". YouTube. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Cantwell, Simon (10 February 2009). "FEE express disappointment over portrayal in magazine". The University Observer (UCD). Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Current PhD students". PhD newsletter. UCD Law faculty. 9 July 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Murphy to replace Higgins as MEP". The Irish Times. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Duncan, Pamela (30 June 2011). "Irish ship will not sail to Gaza after 'sabotage'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Paul Murphy MEP on Italian news". TGR. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Lally, Conor (2 September 2011). "MEP lodges complaint over Corrib protest with Garda ombudsman". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Irish aid ship bound for Gaza". RTÉ News. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Israeli navy boards Gaza-bound Irish ship". RTÉ News. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Socialist MEP among Gaza peace activists kidnapped by IDF". The Socialist. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Israel to deport Irish MEP on Friday". RTÉ News. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Paul Murphy MEP launches 'ScamBridge' website". RTÉ News. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Kelly, Fiach (23 April 2014). "Candidates face €150 fine for each poster put up early". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  19. ^ O'Connell, Hugh (22 April 2014). "MEP who didn’t think ‘people would be bothered’ forced to take down election posters". Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Barry, Aoife (22 May 2014). "BAI finds exclusion of candidates' poll results in RTÉ report “unfair”". Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

European Parliament
Preceded by
Joe Higgins
Member of the European Parliament for Dublin
Succeeded by
Lynn Boylan