Phil Murphy, Ballygow, Bannow, who died on 23rd July 1989, was one of the best traditional
musicians in the country.
Phil played the harmonica, or mouth organ as he preferred to
call it, from when he was about nine or ten years old. He learned tunes from local
musicians who included Henry and Statia Bowe, neighbours of Phil's.
very much involved with many mummings sets throughout the country all during his life
and performed with the Carne Mummers. He was All-Ireland Champion three times.
two sons, John and Pip, carry on the tradition of harmonica playing. Phil has also
passed on his musical knowledge to two young neighbours in Ballygow, Paul and Alan
O'Dwyer. Just three weeks before Phil's death, the three Murphys recorded
an album together. This album is on the Claddagh label titled The Trip to
Apart from his own music, Phil was equally well known for his cosmopolitan
tastes when it came to other ethnic styles of music. His love of folk song and dance
as a universal art form, was ever evident in the warmth of his sincerity to preserve
the old and progress with the new.
We know that Phil
would have enjoyed the wide range of music on offer in our programme, and we are
confident that this event will prove to be a memorable one for the entire assemblage.