President Higgins issues condolences after death of Dervla Murphy, author of ‘Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle’

President Michael D Higgins and others have issued condolences after death of travel writer Dervla Murphy.

As an Irish travel writer, Murphy is known most as the author of ‘Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle’ where she documents how she cycled to India while Europe was frozen in 1963. The writer has celebrated her 90th birthday in November.

President Higgins said: “People throughout Ireland, in her community of Lismore and far beyond to the many places in which she travelled, and they were many, will have been saddened to hear of the death of Dervla Murphy.”

“While known as Ireland’s most famous travel writer, such a description barely captures the fullness and deep understanding captured in her work. Her contribution to writing, and to travel writing in particular, had a unique commitment to the value of human experience in all its diversity,” President Higgins said.

“From her 1965 book ‘Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle’ – which documented her remarkable journey on her bike through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – to her many works detailing her experiences in locations as varied as Northern Ireland, England, the United States, Russia, Cuba, the Himalayas, the Middle East and across Africa, always an ethical visitor she brought a vital social conscience and respect for those she wrote about.”

“She retained a strong interest in those who were suffering throughout the world even up to recent weeks and brought an insightful perspective to matters of politics, environmentalism and the crucial importance of peace,” he said.

The President added: “I would like to send my deepest condolence to her daughter Rachel, with whom she shared so many of her adventures, her grandchildren, and to all her family and friends.”

Eland Books, Murphy’s publisher, said: “Celebrating and remembering the life-force that was Dervla Murphy, who has died at home at the age of 90. Thank you for your friendship, your principled wisdom, your questing conversation and your unflinching books.”

Garret Daly., director of ‘Who is Dervla Murphy?’, a documentary covering the life of the travel writer, said: “Heartbroken at the news of Dervla Murphy. She was a very special person She warmly welcomed myself & @MartinaMcGlynn to film with her a decade ago. A memorable time.A unique experience to be in her company. Her spirit unquenchable.Her work and words inspiring. Safe travels Dervla.”

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