The Mythical Mick Murphy- In Development

We are very pleased to get development of our proposed documentary on Irish cycling legend, Mick Murphy off the ground this month. The development is being funded by RTE and Northern Ireland Screen.

Since first coming across Mick’s scarcely believable story while covering The An Post Ras a few years ago his legend got a hold of us and we have been unable to shake it off without making an attempt to bring his story to the attention of a wider audience.

Mick Murphy was a homeless drifter who won one of the greatest prizes in Irish sport in 1958. He won cycling’s Ras Tailteann, but was a social outcast whose eccentricities and circus background stoked a fire of semi-mythological tales and fear that set him apart from his contemporaries. He lived an extraordinary life, of which winning the Ras was only one part.

Ferocious training with home-made weights in a camp in a forest and on moonlit mountain rides into the mountains, coupled with his habit of eating raw meat and drinking the blood of cows and goats in the fields between race stages secured his unique place in the pantheon of legendary Irish country characters.

He survived ostracism, a broken collarbone, concussion and delirium, an escape from hospital confinement, smashed bikes and the overbearing attentions of authority to pull off one of the most unlikely triumphs in Irish sporting history. Having lit the fire of a legend that still burns, he emigrated and disappeared from the national conscience until being rediscovered by cycling fans decades later living as a semi-hermit in abject poverty. He died in October 2015, and we conducted the last interview he ever gave just a few months before.

We hope to have a taster developed by March this year and will then be pedalling as hard as he did to get a full documentary up and away. RIP Mick Murphy, Cahirsiveen, County Kerry.