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Dr Denis Murphy

  • Peter Hollis
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Abstract
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Dr Denis Murphy

  • Peter Hollis
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eLetters

Anecdote about Denis

Larry Culliford, Retired Psychiatrist & Author
11 May 2012

May I please add a personal note to your obituary of Dr Denis Murphy?(Hollis P. Obituaries, Psychiatrist 2012; 36: 198) Denis returned to Britain at about the same time as I returned from Australia. Before our eventual careers took shape, we tended to follow each other around South London experiencing what Denis often referred to as, "A plague of locums",and became friends.

A biological psychiatrist in those days, his attachment to general medicine was keen, as shown by an incident in Dublin one night when I happened to be visiting. We had taken his mother to a fine performance of Wilde's 'A Woman of No Importance'. It was dark and raining on the return to Terenure when we encountered a policeman directing traffic around a badly injured motor-cyclist. Denis stopped the car and insisted on offering his (and my) services. There followed, for an inordinate length of time before the ambulance finally arrived, the improbable scene of two sodden psychiatrists attempting mouth-to-mouth CPR on an all-but moribund youth as cars went by, perilously close, either side.

Typically, wanting to know the outcome of our efforts, Denis rang thehospital the following day. The accident victim was deep in a coma and notexpected to recover. Putting down the receiver, my friend remarked, philosophical as ever, "At least we saved his kidneys for somebody!"

I shall long remember the near-mischievous twinkle in his eye, and the perfectly expressive, wry, lop-sided grin, which accompanied this observation. They captured the very essence of his charm.

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Conflict of interest: None declared

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