Friends of Irish Research mourn passing of founding member Robert Murphy

Robert Murphy, a founding member of the Friends of Irish Research and former board member of the Irish Cultural Centre, passed away in the comfort of his home on Sunday, December 8 at the age of 76.

Murphy, a native of Easton, MA, worked as a civil engineer and spent many of his later years tracing his Irish lineage as a member of the Knights and Ladies of St. Finbarr and Friends of Innishannon. He successfully located his grandparents’ resting place in Innishannon, Ireland, and was at the center of a project that restored and rededicated the Kilpadder Graveyard in Dromkeen, West Cork, Ireland in July 2012. Kilpadder is believed to be the burial site of dozens of famine victims dating from 1845, including ancestors of Murphy's. Previously overgrown, neglected, and lacking any record of the people buried there, it is now a beautifully landscaped and tranquil memorial to those who died, thanks to Murphy's vision and generosity.

In a press release, The Friends of Irish Research announced that they will be honoring the work of Bob Murphy in researching and preserving Irish heritage by naming the first room used for Irish research in their facility the "Robert Murphy Irish Heritage Room".

Murphy, a beloved husband to Susan (Barber) Murphy, is survived by seven children: Kimberly Kelleher and her husband, William, of Enfield, Charles Henry and his wife, Wendy, of Deland, FL, Shelley (Sanford) Shor of Easton, MA, Christopher Sanford and his wife, Jennifer, of Woodland, WA, Heather (Sanford)Bruce and her husband, Joseph, of Clermont, FL, Shawn Murphy of Wisconsin, and Erik Sanford and his wife, Amy, of Plainville, MA.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., December 28, 2019 at North Baptist Church, 899 North Main St., Brockton, MA 02301. Donations in memory of Robert may be made to the American Lung Association and Lung Transplant Foundation. To leave online condolences please visit