Anthony Murphy is a journalist, photographer, author and astronomer who lives in Drogheda, at the gateway to Ireland’s historic Boyne Valley. He has spent more than 20 years researching, photographing and writing about the ancient megalithic monuments of the Boyne Valley and their associated mythology, cosmology and alignments.
He is the author of six books, including the acclaimed Island of the Setting Sun: In Search of Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers (with Richard Moore), Newgrange: Monument to Immortality, Mythical Ireland: New Light on the Ancient Past and Dronehenge: The Story Behind the Remarkable Discovery at Newgrange. His works of fiction are a novella called Land of the Ever-Living Ones and a short novel called The Cry of the Sebac.
Anthony has worked in the newspaper industry for his entire career, beginning as a reporter and later Design Editor with the Drogheda Independent, where he spent 10 years. He later became Editor of the Drogheda Leader newspaper, and went on to become Editor of the Dundalk Democrat. He is now a sub editor and graphic designer with the Irish Farmers Journal.
He lives in Drogheda with his wife Ann and their five children. An accomplished photographer, Anthony’s work is well-known not just through his books but also the Mythical Ireland website and through his presence on social media. In addition to being a writer and photographer, Anthony plays principal euphonium with Drogheda Brass Band, the most successful brass band on the island of Ireland. He is conductor of Drogheda Youth Brass Band. He is a licenced radio amateur (with the call sign EI2KC) and is proficient at sending and receiving morse code, a skill that is dying out as newer modes of communication have replaced the older ones.
Anthony has appeared many times on television as an expert on Newgrange and the monuments and indeed astronomy, and he has featured in newspaper, magazine and news media articles around the world. He regularly gives talks about his research and also leads private tours of the monuments. He is a member of the Independent Tour Guides Association. He has lectured all over Ireland and in Britain and the US. He delivered a lecture in November 2019 at Princeton University, New Jersey, as part of the Fund for Irish Studies series, at the invitation of Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Professor Paul Muldoon.
Anthony's first discovery was made in 1999 with friends Richard Moore and Michael Byrne, when they revealed a winter solstice sunrise alignment at the standing stones in Baltray, overlooking the Boyne estuary. In July 2018 Anthony shot to international fame when he discovered a previously unknown late Neolithic henge or ceremonial enclosure 750m from the world famous megalithic monument of Newgrange. Read more about the discovery here:
Anthony was in the company of fellow photographer and friend Ken Williams. Their discovery made international headlines, and has been featured on television on Channel 4, Discovery Science and National Geographic. An aerial survey of Brú na Bóinne by the National Monuments Service three days after the discovery has revealed that the sites and features discovered by Anthony and Ken are part of a huge ritual landscape, and the discoveries will be studied and researched by archaeologists and scientists for decades to come.
In January 2019, Anthony was honoured by the Mayor of his home town, Drogheda, with a Mayoral Award, which was presented in recognition of his work as a writer, journalist, photographer, public speaker, musician, mythology enthusiast and researcher.
Anthony was born in Drogheda and grew up overlooking the river Boyne in the ancient medieval town. He became interested in astronomy at an early age, a lifelong love that was to lead him towards researching the ancient monuments of the Boyne Valley, an exploration that began in January of 1999 with local artist Richard Moore. At the age of just 12, he wrote a monthly astronomy column for his local newspaper, the Drogheda Independent – his first foray into journalism! The monuments had long held a fascination for him. On a school tour in primary school, he saw Newgrange and Dowth up close for the first time and was captivated. News headlines were being made every year during the archaeological excavations at Knowth, and Anthony followed the news with great interest. He developed a keen interest in the mythology and legends of the Boyne monuments, and indeed the wider mythological story of Ireland, thanks mainly to the encouragement of Richard Moore.
He is currently working on his seventh book. Often asked where he gets the time to work full-time, write books, run Mythical Ireland, take photos, play in a brass band, participate in amateur radio contests and all the other things he does, Anthony points out that none of this would be possible without the support of his longsuffering wife Ann and their five children!