The Festival Photo Gallery Programme of Events Phil Murphy Carrig-on-Bannow

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.

Phil was 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 of Phil's four 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 Cullenstown. You can listen to it for free here on Spotify.

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.

c.1976 Liam Griffin's bar Rosslare Harbour.  Michael Griffin (Flute), Nick Kinsella (fiddle), Phil and John Murphy, and an unknown harmonica player.

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