Conor Terence Murphy (born 10 July 1963) is an Irish republican Sinn Féin politician who was the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland for Newry and Armagh. He served as the Member of Parliament for Newry and Armagh from 2005-2015.
Murphy in November 2011, while visiting St Patrick's High School, Keady
|Minister for Regional Development|
8 May 2007 – 16 May 2011
|Preceded by||Peter Robinson|
|Succeeded by||Danny Kennedy|
|Member of Parliament |
for Newry and Armagh
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Seamus Mallon|
|Succeeded by||Mickey Brady|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly |
for Newry and Armagh
|Assumed office |
8 June 2015
|Preceded by||Mickey Brady|
25 June 1998 – 2 July 2012
|Preceded by||Constituency created|
|Succeeded by||Megan Fearon|
|Born||10 July 1963|
Camlough, County Armagh, Northern Ireland
|Political party||Sinn Féin|
|Alma mater||University of Ulster |
Queen's University of Belfast
|Website||Conor Murphy MLA|
Murphy was born in Camlough, South Armagh and joined the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the 1981 hunger strikes. In 1982 he was sentenced to five years in prison for IRA membership and possession of explosives.
Between 1989 and 1997, he was a Sinn Féin councillor on Newry and Mourne District Council for The Fews area, in South Armagh and South Down, and served as his party's group leader at that level.
In 1998, Murphy was elected as one of his party's two Northern Ireland Assembly members for Newry and Armagh. He was re-elected, with two party colleagues, to the Assembly in 2003. He lives in Camlough, County Armagh with his wife Catherine, his daughter Áine and his son Oisín. He attended St Colman's College, Newry, Queen's University of Belfast (QUB), and the University of Ulster.
In 2001, he contested the Newry and Armagh Westminster seat, coming second to incumbent Seamus Mallon of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). When Mallon decided not to contest the seat again, Murphy became the clear favourite to win and was elected on 5 May 2005.
He refused to take his seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in line with the abstentionist policy of Sinn Féin. In the Northern Ireland Assembly, he served as the Minister for Regional Development in the Northern Ireland Executive from 8 May 2007 until 16 May 2011. While on a tour of UK party conferences in autumn 2005, he became the first Irish republican to address the Conservative Party conference and caused controversy by refusing to express regret over the Brighton hotel bombing.
In 2011, while Minister for Regional Development, Murphy appointed Sean Hogan, a Catholic, as head of Northern Ireland Water, turning down the applications of four Protestants on the shortlist. A tribunal subsequently awarded £150,000 damages for discrimination to one of these applicants, Alan Lennon, judging that Hogan was appointed because "he was not from a Protestant background and because he was known to the minister and his (then Sinn Fein) ministerial colleagues Michelle Gildernew and Caitríona Ruane, who were consulted about the appointment." The tribunal found Murphy's evidence was "implausible and lack[ing] credibility", and that, during Murphy's tenure at the Department for Regional Development, there was a "material bias against the appointment of candidates from a Protestant background". Murphy disputed the finding which he said branded him "sectarian". Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness defended him, claiming Murphy doesn't have "a sectarian bone in his body".
In December 2012, Murphy appeared as a witness at Belfast High Court in the case of Declan Gormley, whom Murphy had sacked in 2010 from his post as a non-executive director of NI Water. Gormley sued Sinn Féin over two press releases which he argued were defamatory. Gormley was subsequently offered £80,000 in damages.
- Profile, ukwhoswho.com; accessed 29 November 2015.
- Northern Ireland Assembly: Conor Murphy
- Conor Murphy biography Archived 9 July 2012 at Archive.today
- "Sinn Féin can take Newry/Armagh". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- "Back to jail for politicians". BBC News. 27 May 2002. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
- Newry and Mourne election results ARK, accessed 1 April 2011
- "Newry and Armagh". ARK. Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- "Changes certain in race for poll". BBC News. 5 April 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- "Sinn Féin win Newry and Armagh". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- "MP 'no regrets' over Tory bombing". BBC News. 4 October 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- "Department for Regional Development discriminated against candidate". BBC News. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Employment tribunal criticises ex-Sinn Fein minister Murphy". Irish News. 21 June 2012. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Alan Lennon case: Protestant job applicant to receive £150,000". BBC News. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Conor Murphy 'hasn't a sectarian bone', says McGuinness". BBC News. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- "Sinn Fein order to pay £80,000 to ex NI water director in libel action". Belfast Daily. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
|Northern Ireland Assembly|
|New assembly|| MLA for Newry and Armagh
| MLA for Newry and Armagh
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Newry and Armagh
Title last held byPeter Robinson
| Minister for Regional Development