How Tom Murphy attacked the arrogance of power

The Tuam-born dramatist came out of a landscape devastated by the Famine and its legacy of mass emigration. His work raged, in his own words, ‘against the inequalities of life’

20th May, 2018

When Tom Murphy, who died last week aged 83, began writing he immediately turned to the two major defining Irish subjects, the Great Famine and emigration, for his material and inspiration. Considering his earliest dramatic preoccupations, he could hardly have been born in a more significant locale. His native place, Tuam in Co Galway, was an historic famine hinterland and had been devastated by emigration. It continued to be so as he grew up.

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