VIDEO: Legendary cyclist ‘Iron Man’ Mick Murphy dies

Known as 'The Iron Man', the late Mick Murphy, former Rás Tailteann winner in 1958, lived alone and heis pictured in his living room of his home boiling spuds on a one-ring gas cooker near Cahersiveen inCo Kerry in 2011. Picture: Don MacMonagle

Mick Murphy, the ‘Iron Man’ of Kerry and a legendary cyclist and sporting all-rounder, has died.

Well into his 80s at the time of his death, Mr Murphy first sprang to national attention when he won the Rás Tailteann cycling stage race three times, beginning in 1958.

His cycling exploits were legendary, with stories of how he once raced for days despite having a broken collarbone, while his life away from the saddle was no less colourful.

Tributes paid to Mr Murphy yesterday recounted how he was also known as a wrestler, boxer, runner, farmer, circus performer, fire eater, ventriloquist, and bricklayer.

In recent years, he had been living in extremely spartan conditions in a shack near Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, with no electricity or running water — conditions which did not impinge on his dedicated training regimes.

He wrestled and boxed in England in his early life, refused to draw the state pension, and was the subject of an RTE radio documentary, The Convict of the Road.


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