Paul Murphy (Irish politician)

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For the former Northern Ireland Office minister, see Paul Murphy (British politician).
Paul Murphy
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
October 2014
Constituency Dublin South–West
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 Anti-Austerity Alliance
Other political
Socialist Party
Alma mater University College Dublin

Paul Murphy (born 13 April 1983) is an Irish Socialist Party politician. He was elected as an Teachta Dála (TD) for the Anti-Austerity Alliance at the 2014 Dublin South–West by-election. From 2011 until 2014 he was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Dublin constituency representing the Socialist Party (European United Left–Nordic Green Left).[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] He is also active in Free Education for Everyone, a group campaigning against the reintroduction of fees for third-level education in Ireland.[5] In 2009 he was working on a PhD thesis titled "Does socialist law exist?"[6]

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

Murphy stood for re-election in 2014. Murphy illegally put up election posters before the official start date; potentially facing fines of up to €150,000. He claimed it was in response to Fianna Fáil candidate Mary Fitzpatrick who had already put up her posters and that "people wouldn't be bothered". [18] He was forced by Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council and South Dublin County Council to remove them. [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 was elected to Dáil Éireann for the Anti-Austerity Alliance at the 2014 Dublin South–West by-election.[21]

He received widespread criticism for his role in a protest against Tánaiste Joan Burton in Jobstown, Dublin on 15 November 2014.[22] Despite Burton being trapped in a car for 3 hours by an angry mob, Murphy claimed the protest was peaceful. [23]


  1. ^ "Paul Murphy". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Pillars of Society: Paul Murphy". The Phoenix. 1 June 2012. pp. pg17. 
  3. ^ "To Fight Fees: Vote Paul Murphy No.1 for President". Socialist Party. February 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Plunkett, Sean (14 June 2008). "Which Side Are You On?". YouTube. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Cantwell, Simon (10 February 2009). "FEE express disappointment over portrayal in magazine". The University Observer (UCD). Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Current PhD students". "PhD newsletter". UCD Law faculty. 9 July 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "European Parliament website". European Parliament. Retrieved 3 September 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. 
  21. ^ "Paul Murphy elected in Dublin South-West by-election". RTÉ News. 11 October 2014. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
Preceded by
Brian Hayes
(Fine Gael)
Teachta Dála for Dublin South–West
European Parliament
Preceded by
Joe Higgins
Member of the European Parliament for Dublin
Succeeded by
Lynn Boylan