About Michael

Michael is a native of Castlebar, the county town of Mayo in the west of Ireland. He is the eldest in a family of five boys. His father was a pharmacist, and his mother had her Licentiate to teach music.

Michael lives in Stillorgan on the south-side of Dublin city, and also in Elviria near Marbella in the south of Spain. He shares his life with his partner of over thirty years, Terry O’Sullivan. They had a Civil Partnership ceremony in June 2011, for which Michael wrote Epithalamion: A Poem for Terry, and they were married on Michaelmas Day 29 September 2017. Together they enjoy art, literature and music, walking their chocolate Labrador Toga, and spending time with close friends.

Writing Life

In 2009 Michael published a number one best-selling literary memoir At Five in the Afternoon dealing with his battle with prostate cancer. The Irish Independent Weekend Review described him: “Best known as a newsreader, Michael Murphy is also a distinguished psychoanalyst and an author of importance. His book is not just about cancer, it is an elegantly written memoir. Each section, or chapter, could stand alone as a stylish short story.”

A sequel The House of Pure Being, in which Michael reflects on writing, art, language, love, friendship, and the seductive charms of his beloved Spain, was published in autumn 2013 and reached the top ten.

Michael’s first poetry collection The Republic of Love was published in summer 2013. It covers themes of identity, language, love and mythology, and it was the first poetry book to enter the top ten list in Ireland since Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize.

The subject of Michael’s second collection of poetry A Chaplet of Roses is human nature, and it was published in November 2015. Dr. Jeannine Woods of NUI Galway, in her introduction says “Michael’s poetry expresses truths at once deeply personal and universal in their resonances. His poems continue to flower in the heart and mind long after we close the pages of this beautiful book.”

Michael Murphy’s Book of Dreams, an analysis of sixty-five dreams, was published by Gill Books in October 2017.

The Ministry of Dreams – Collected Poems was published in November 2019. It is made up of three books. The Republic of Love and A Chaplet of Roses were published in 2013 and 2015, and the new poems in The Ministry of Dreams – which also gives the overall title to the collection – appear here for the first time in 2019.

In September 2010 Michael gave A Concert Reading of At Five in the Afternoon in Dublin’s National Concert Hall. Excerpts from his memoir were read by Eileen Dunne (RTE) Eamonn Lawlor (Lyric FM) and Emer O’Kelly (Sunday Independent). Choruses from J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass referenced in the book were sung by the Goethe-Institut Choir accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Cecilia conducted by John Dexter.

Stories, Poetry and Dreams, an intimate evening with Michael Murphy and his broadcaster friends including Eileen Dunne, Emer O’Kelly, Eamonn Lawlor, Ciana Campbell and Deirdre Purcell, toured Ireland during 2014/16. In this show based on his writings, Michael and his guests shared deeply insightful reflections on love and sex, friendship and family, and Michael made the cancer journey with two inspiring women survivors in Spain. Performances were given in the glór Theatre Ennis, Pavilion Theatre Dun Laoghaire, Triskel Arts Centre Cork, Dean Crowe Theatre Athlone, Watergate Theatre Kilkenny, and at the Dalkey Arts Festival, Dublin. In March 2016, two performances of Stories Poetry and Dreams were given in New York at the Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51 st Street, and the show received a “Recommended” from the New York Times.

“There are tears. But there is laughter and great humour too. People are truly moved by the evening, a very unique cross between a book reading and a theatrical experience”. Irish Examiner.

Speaking of Dreams is an interactive evening where Michael and presenter Ciana Campbell examine people’s dreams. The show toured Ireland in 2017/18, culminating in a dinner-theatre event at the Avanto Restaurant, La Cala, Marbella in Spain on St. Patrick’s weekend.

Academic Life

Michael began his education at St. Patrick’s National School in Castlebar. He attended boarding-school at the Dominican College, Newbridge, County Kildare. And he also studied Philosophy and Metaphysics at the Dominican House of Studies in Tallaght, Dublin.

Michael read French and English for an Arts degree at University College Dublin. On completion, he was awarded a scholarship to the Centre Européen Universitaire de Nancy in France, where he studied Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences. He wrote his first Master’s thesis there on “Obsessional Themes in the work of the French writer, Albert Camus”. Michael furthered his studies in psychoanalysis with several diplomas in Jungian analytical psychology from the Jung Institute in Dublin. He did three years of clinical study at the School of Psychotherapy, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, where he wrote a thesis entitled “The Dream in Analysis” for his Master’s Diploma in Clinical Psychotherapy. After further studies, he was awarded the Advanced Diploma in Clinical Psychotherapy. Michael pursued an M. Phil., in Psychoanalytic Studies at Trinity College, Dublin, where he wrote his final thesis to date: “A Lacanian Perspective on Poet Desmond Egan’s A Song for my Father”, for which the external examiner recommended a distinction.

On October 23, 2014, the Governing Authority of NUI Galway, with the support of the President, awarded Michael the degree of Master of Arts, Honoris Causa, during a graduation ceremony at the college. The citation for this honorary degree reads: “Through his outstanding work as broadcaster, psychoanalyst and writer, Michael Murphy has made an important and valuable contribution to Irish society and beyond…”

Michael works as a Psychoanalyst at his practice in Sandyford, Dublin, where he is the Director of Psychological Therapy Services. He is a Registered Practitioner member of the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland.

Broadcasting Life

Michael joined Radió Telefís Éireann, the Irish national public service broadcaster, as a Continuity Announcer on radio. Shortly afterwards he was appointed Newsreader, reading news in both Irish and English on radio and television, for which he won the National Association of the Deaf award. He trained to be a Producer/Director with the station, and for over a decade he worked as a Senior Producer/Director in television. He produced Access Community Television and Access Community Drama, forerunners of reality television, for which he won a Jacob’s Award, the Prix Jeunesse Internationale, and a special UNESCO award. He then returned to the newsroom as a Senior Newscaster.

Michael is a regular contributor to radio programmes, most notably a weekly dream analysis segment for the RTÉ radio 2FM Chris and Ciara show. He has given memorable interviews on both radio and television for the Mooney show, the John Murray show, Saturday Night with Miriam, and the Late Late Show. Over the past five seasons, Michael has held a weekly psychoanalytic residency on the RTÉ afternoon television Today Show.


Michael lectures in Communications at the Park Studio, the Milltown Institute in Dublin. He is also a Communications Consultant with the T-Space organisation, working primarily with governmental organisations. He has worked previously with Carr Communications.

In May, 2014, Michael delivered a two hour presentation on “Self-affirmation during Times of Change” to members of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, at the invitation of Christine Graeff, Director General, Communications and Language Services.