Dervla Murphy


Irish travel cyclist and writer Dervla Murphy has made her final journey aged 90. Her love of cycling was apparent from a young age, and an early fantasy was to travel on bike from Ireland to India. She fulfilled her childhood dream in the early 60s, weaving through Europe and the Middle East with an approach that laid the blueprint for future Murphy adventures – cycling solo while only carrying the barest necessities (plus a gun), plus a keen respect for the minutiae of her environments. Her diaries were published as the book Full Tilt, which earned critical acclaim for a straightforward approach both gutsy (her life was in danger at several points, using her gun to shoot wolves and fend off criminals) and philosophical (she appreciated the humility of many of the locals and particularly fell in love with Afghanistan).

Murphy followed suit in subsequent decades with dozens of other books detailing her bicycle trips around the globe, while occasionally accompanied by her daughter. She also traveled on a local level, having cycled within Ireland at the height of the Troubles to paint a full picture of the divisions her homeland was going through. In spite of all the close shaves she survived while adventuring, the roughest injury for her was an arm fracture caused by tripping over her pet cats! She was still giving interviews weeks before her death, where her world-curious spirit remained intact even as old age constrained her. Dervla Murphy went solo one final time for Irish theme The Sick-Bed of Cuchulainn, her only DDP selector.

Dervla Murphy
28 November 1931 – 22 May 2022, aged 90
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