Cork Profile: David Murphy - Musician and data engineer at UCC

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

A guitar god.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I studied software development before working for 15 years in IT with Bupa Ireland and Musgrave. I joined UCC in 2017. Parallel to that, I’ve been a very active band-member and session musician, balancing recording and touring around Ireland and UK and Europe over the past 15 or so years alongside my IT role. I am currently preparing to release my first solo album in April of traditional Irish music on pedal steel guitar.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

Having two very contrasting roles allows me to flex both sides of my brain – the logical left side and the creative right. Working collaboratively with people in both roles is hugely enjoyable and very rewarding.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated always by learning something new – I have an endlessly curious mind.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Enjoy yourself while you’re young.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

A recording studio engineer perhaps.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

My son Charley. He makes me very proud on most days.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

My father. He had an unbelievable work ethic right up until he physically couldn’t work anymore. He then turned to more artistic endeavours much later in life. And made a living from it! He was enterprising, hugely determined and was always plotting the next move, innovating and challenging himself. He was forever willing to help his friends and family. And he was mighty craic!

What is the life dream now?

To remain healthy and to continue the sometimes tricky balancing act of work, music and family successfully.

How do you switch off?

I find it almost impossible to switch off. I don’t watch TV. I like to read books and listen to podcasts when I can, though my dance-card is generally full most of the time! Experimenting with music is a form of relaxation I guess for me.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Growing up in Buttevant, spending long summer nights outside playing football with my friends until darkness fell and we would do it all again the next day.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

Fitzgerald’s Park.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

Think positive and don’t quit.

When are you at your happiest?

Hanging out with my son Charley or touring and adventuring on the road with bandmates. Two wildly different situations but both equally fun!

What is your hidden talent?


What might we be surprised to know about you?

I once beat former world snooker champion Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins in a game of pool.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’ll be releasing my first full-length album, 'Cuimhne Ghlinn: Explorations in Irish Music for Pedal Steel Guitar' on 19 April via the Rollercoaster Records label and will be performing it live for the first time with a full-band of absolutely ace Cork musicians in Coughlan’s, Cork on Thursday 18 April.