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Murphy, Father John

Murphy, Father John (c.1753–98). Irish rebel. Murphy was a leader of the Wexford insurgents during the Irish rising of 1798. A local man, he studied in Spain, became a catholic priest, returned to Ireland in 1785, and became an assistant in the parish of Boulavogue. In May 1798 he raised rebellion, defeated some local militia, and advanced to Enniscorthy. Having established a camp on Vinegar Hill, just outside the town, the rebels occupied Wexford, defeating a small government detachment under Colonel Walpole. But an attempt on Arklow was beaten off and Vinegar Hill stormed. Murphy escaped to continue the struggle, hoping to find support among the colliers at Castlecomer in Kilkenny. His fate is not known for certain. He may have been killed in battle on Kilcomney Hill, but it is more likely that he was captured and hanged.

J. A. Cannon

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