2017 Grateful 27

I googled my dad yesterday, it being Fathers Day and all. I can’t think why I haven’t done it before now. And I was surprised. Surprised at so many old photos of him from back in the day when I used to watch him on the TV, or read about him in the paper. A retired Chief Superintendent, he’s had a case or two in his day – famous cases that are still resurrected every now and then, especially Shergar. The horse that was stolen. The horse that disappeared. The horse that the world will never let rest.

But reading the texts didn’t sit well with me. While remnants of the man they described peaked through, accounts of that case in particular made him out to be ‘the most richly comic copper since Inspector Clouseau’. Sure – he has a sense of humour but comic? mmmm. The rest of the articles made for depressing reading and I wondered at the innate cruelty of journalism, when ad hominem attacks are commonplace.

The New York Times reported the facts, just the facts – but that was back in 1983… am not so sure they’d do the same today. The Independent ran an article in February 2013, marking the 30-year anniversary of the disappearance with a picture of the hat my dad supposedly bought in a shop in Newbridge. It looks nothing like what he’d wear and I really can’t see him taking time out to go shopping – even on a good day. As for the UK papers – I won’t even go there.

I have vague recollections of a journalist coming to call and then later writing a book in which my dad featured heavily. I read the book years later. The dialogue is so far removed from how he talks that I laughed out loud and wondered where they’d gotten this character from. Even the smallest details we incorrect – like how far we lived from Newbridge, what his rank was, and how much he’d paid for the damn hat.

I meant to post this yesterday, but I got a tad involved in reading through the annals of history and then had to lie down. My heart goes out to children everywhere who have to read about their parents in the press. I can’t even begin to imagine what Trump Jnr is going through. I hope he has the good sense to steer clear of the media because it ain’t sweet.  Me, I got off lightly.

That said, if those journalists ever actually met my dad and got to know him, they’d change their tune. The man lives by his principles. Words like honesty, integrity, and fairness come to mind. I remember playing poker with a chap in Alaska many lifetimes ago. My dad had put two of his uncles inside. He told me that they said that there was never a fairer cop in Dublin than the Jazzer. And if they had to go down, at least he was the one to do it. It was one of those mad evenings.

Bearing in mind that paper will take any print, I’m choosing to ignore the naysayers. I’m grateful that for the last 50 years, the Jazzer Murphy has been a steadfast part of my life, unfailing in his love and support. As dads go, I lucked out.


5 Responses

  1. Wow! What a great person. It was a privilege for you to have known him. Even better, you were one of his children. I think you have done well by him.

      1. Hi Mary,
        I cant wait to come and see you, I just recently had friends move to Ireland so I now have two wonderful reasons too.
        I’m off to Thailand tomorrow and looking forward to the warmth that come with it. Boui is already over there, can’t wait to sit on our porch and spend time.
        So at the moment I have wife ,golf, massages and Thai food on my mind. Work is taking a second place I’m afraid.
        The first of the ships have been handed over to the navy, so more than a few people are going to be looking for new jobs soon. I think I am on track to be in the same position in December. I live in fear that the company I work for gets more work. Fingers crossed. That’s when we plan to come and visit.
        Otherwise it is all good here. My golf is getting better slowly, the proof will be in the games I play in Thailand.
        Boui will come back to Australia with me so that’s makes life easier and lots nicer, she has been over looking after mum who was ill but has come good. Which we are all thankful for.
        Your house in the country sounds like a treat and well deserved. Good for you Mary and well done.
        I haven’t got a post for awhile is all ok?
        Take care dear girl, seeya
        Your friend always.

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