By Ray O’Hanlon
Michael Murphy has been remembered on his homeland American shore.
His heroism in Afghanistan has been recorded in a book and a movie.
A U.S. Navy destroyer bearing his name sails proudly with the Pacific Fleet.
Now Michael Murphy’s name will have a permanent home in Ireland, specifically at a new post for U.S. military veterans in Kinsale, County Cork.
The post has come about as a result of American veterans living in Ireland, and there also being a number of Irish citizens who have served with the U.S. military.
It is being run by the recently formed Irish Veterans organization and the post, the group’s first, was over the weekend formally named in honor of Lieutenant Murphy.
Irish Veterans is open to anyone in Ireland who has served with overseas militaries but, not surprisingly, service in various branches of the the U.S. armed forces is especially prominent in the membership ranks.
Long Islander Murphy lost his life and won the Congressional Medal of Honor fighting in the Afghanistan war that directly followed the 9/11 attack on America.
It was in a 2005 firefight against the Taliban that Lt. Murphy exposed himself to enemy fire in an effort to secure fire support for his vastly outnumbered four-man team.
Two of Murphy’s comrades were also killed that day. One survived. Murphy’s men were all awarded the Navy Cross, thus making the unit the most decorated in the history of the SEALS.
In addition to his Medal of Honor, Murphy was also the recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
Murphy was the first service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.
The heroism displayed by Murphy and his comrades against overwhelming odds was portrayed in the movie “Lone Survivor.”
Irish veterans asked Murphy’s parents, Dan and Maureen, for permission to name the post after their son. Permission was readily granted and so, with a plaque to tell all who come and visit, the “Navy SEAL LT Michael P. Murphy Irish Veterans Post #1” has come into being.
“This became a big deal and the Navy, Naval Special Operations community, the American Embassy, and the Irish Navy, all became involved,” said Dan Murphy.
A contingent of crewmen from the USS Michael Murphy, the former commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, Tom Shultz, other naval personnel and the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, were all expected at the dedication.
The dedication was yet another proud moment for the Murphy family.
“Michael was known as the ‘fiery Irishman from New York,’ said Dan.
The weekend’s events included an inaugural fundraising dinner for Irish Veterans that also benefited the Michael Murphy Foundation.