South Wales Central
I was born and brought up in Cardiff in the 1960’s to Welsh-British parents. My family cheered every Welsh achievement with pride never more so than during the Five Nations, cramming into my Uncle Gordons house in Fairwater barley room to stand especially when Wales played England.
Everyone was passionately Welsh but believed Wales was part of something bigger (better off in the union!) and couldn’t survive on our own (too small, too poor!) although there was never discussion on where the profits from Welsh coal, steel and industry went or exactly how Wales was better off.
In my early teens, with Dad unable to find work, we moved to The NE of England which has much in common with south Wales. I played rugby for the local pit team, Hordon, where many of my friends worked after leaving school but soon found themselves unemployed when the pits and industries closed overnight.
For my parents living in The NE reinforced their Welsh-British identity and their belief that the problems Wales faced were shared across the UK.
The reality of course is different, whilst the issues in the industrial heart lands of England are comparable to those in Wales the response from Westminster is never the same and it was this realisation that brought me to the conclusion that if we are to create a better, fairer more equal Wales for everyone that can only happen through independence.
In later years I was lucky enough to meet and marry my wife Jackie, a proud Yorkshire woman who’s made Wales her home and joined YesCymru. Needless to say the 6 Nations are a tense time in the Murphy household.
My two daughters, Megan and Sian were born in England, Megan considers herself British, Sian, Welsh both are committed to Welsh independence.
I left school at 16 and have had successful careers in the public and private sectors. I joined Durham police cadets going on to spend over 30yrs in policing, the majority in London investigating serious crime. During my last 5yrs I was The Detective Chief Superintendent in charge of Homicide and Serious Crime for London with personal responsibility for 1400 staff and an annual budget of £75 million, coincidentally this was the time of Boris Johnson’s Mayorship, which was interesting to say the least.
In 2009 we moved to Monmouth taking on a near closed Village pub re-opening as Tafarndy Penallt – The Inn at Penallt. Over the next six years The Inn became a key part of the local community transforming into a successful country pub and restaurant. We were named The AA Pub of The Year for Wales in 2012, listed in the Michelin Guide and awarded a “Mons” by Monmouthshire County Life magazine for outstanding contributions to Monmouthshire.
In 2015 I re-trained qualifying as a civil celebrant (Cariad Celebrations) officiating at non and semi-religious funerals, weddings, and civil partnership celebrations across South Wales.
I’m a member of Plaid Cymru but like many others joined YesCymru because it is an independent movement, not a “political party” and I firmly believe that that cornerstone principle of non-party political bias is paramount if we are to continue to grow support for an independent Wales.
I actively campaign with my local branch, YesCymru Pen-Y-Bont, and was a member of The Gweithgor, secretary for the last 3 months. The Gweithgor was a difficult process; everyone taking part passionately believed in independence, we didn’t always agree but we always agreed to try to find a way forward and that willingness to work together, to understand differing points of view and put personal “red lines” to one side in the best interest of Yes Cymru will be vital in the coming months and years.
A cliché but my family are very important to me. I’m a Welsh learner and have a love of history.
I started work at 16, didn’t go into further education but later in life had the opportunity to spend three months at Cambridge University researching a dissertation “Owain Glyndwr - The Founder of Modern Welsh Nationalism”
Growing up in Gabalfa and living in Lloegr I was taught nothing about our rich heritage and culture and never heard Welsh spoken but for past three years I’ve been a “Dysgwr Cymraeg” finding delight in learning to speak my own language.
There is little doubt that Wales face a political and social watershed, support for Scottish independence is at 55%, The SNP have committed to a second Independence referendum, Ireland's reunification is a matter of when not if … Cymru can not and must not be left behind.
The past year has been incredibly difficult and there are many reasons for that but one thing is certain we can never again allow the movement we all hold so dear and the cause for independence which we all believe so passionately in to be put at risk.
- YesCymru must professionalise whilst ensuring we remain a grass roots-member driven organisation.
- Our debates need to move to the next level, contributing to The Constitutional Commission, examining GERW and providing options for an Independent Wales.
- We need to address people’s concerns; articulating alternatives for currency, borrowing, the economy and providing answers to genuine nervousness over health, pensions and border provisions.
- And most importantly we need to get back to campaigning, get off our key boards and get back on the streets.
I’ll bring with me a passion and commitment to achieve our shared goal of Annibyniaeth, alongside a proven track record of people focused team building, community engagement and result delivery in the public and private sectors.
Diolch am eich amser. Ymlaen at Annibyniaeth!
Political Affiliation: Plaid Cymru member