Unveiling of Seamus Murphy Building Naming Stone. 11 September 2007 by County Mayor Cllr. Tom Sheahan, Lord Mayor Cllr. Donal Counihan, President of U.C.C. Dr. Michael Murphy;, also present were Mr. Noel O’Flynn TD, Cllr John Kelleher, Cllr Damien Wallace, Cllr. Mairín Quill, Cllr Jim Corr, Director of Services John Dromey and Bishop John Buckley, Brian McGee, City and County Archivist, plus members of Blackpool Historical Society.
Cork City and County Archives, formerly Cork Archives Institute, moved to a new purpose built building in Blackpool in Cork City in April 2006. The new premises has now been named the 'Seamus Murphy Building' after the famous Cork sculptor, who spent much of his life working in Blackpool. (Some of Murphy’s adventures as a sculptor working in Cork and Blackpool are recorded in his book Stone Mad which first came out in the 1960’s).
The naming of the new building was part of the year’s city-wide celebrations to mark the centenary of Murphy’s birth. Apart from his sculpture, Murphy’s made another great contribution to Blackpool with his design for the Church of the Annunciation, which was completed in 1945. Notably, CCCA has in its collection some original drawings for the Church by Murphy which were originally held by Sunbeam Wolsey Textiles Ltd, whose staff and owners helped to fund the new church.
The naming ceremony involved the unveiling of a naming stone by Cllr.Donal Counihan, Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr. Tom Sheahan, Mayor of County Cork, and Dr. Michael Murphy, President of University College Cork, each representing one of the CCCA’s 3 funding agencies. The stone was carved by Ken Thompson, to whom Seamus Murphy bequeathed all his tools. Ken has undertaken several major public works in his 40 year career including the ‘Cork 800’ monument at Cork City Hall, a slate inscription on the O’Rahilly building in U.C.C., and a Jack Lynch memorial.
To further mark the occasion, and Murphy’s centenary, we also held a joint exhibition with Blackpool Historical Society about the sculptor’s life and works.
On Thursday 31 May, the Lord Myor Cllr. Michael Ahern opened an exhibition entitled 'Seamus Murphy and Blackpool' at the new purpose built Cork City and County Archives, Blackpool. The exhibition forms part of the city-wide Seamus Murphy Centenary celebrations, and is a joint effort between Cork City and County Archives and Blackpool Historical Society. The opening of the exhibition was attended by Seamus Murphy's family and friends as well as members of the local community. The exhibition includes original drawings made by Murphy when designing the Church of the Annunciation, Blackpool, as well as photographs and other materials relating to the great sculptor. The exhibition will be on display from June until September at the new Cork City and County Archives building, Great William O'Brien Street, Blackpool. In September, the new Archives building is to be renamed by Cork City Council after Seamus Murphy.
The Lord Mayor Cllr. Michael Ahern with Beibhinn Murphy, Colm Murphy and Kieran Murphy, and Archivist Brian McGee, at opening of the 'Seamus Murphy and Blackpool' Exhibition at Cork City and County Archives.