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Joseph (Josie) Murphy was born on the 29th of January 1929. He was one of eight children. Roseanne, his mother had two children, James and Agnes, from her first marriage but tragically her first husband was killed during the First World War. Roseanne then met and married her second husband Thomas Murphy, Joseph’s father. Roseanne and Thomas had six children, two sons and four daughters – Leo, Brigid, Kathleen, Francis, Patsy and Joseph. The family lived in the ‘Pound Lonely’ off the Falls Road in Belfast.
As a young boy Josie attended St Comgall’s primary school, and discovered a new hobby, boxing. As he grew up, this became more than just a hobby and he ended up a very keen amateur boxer, who fought for the local boxing club.
As a young man he discovered a new love, her name was Mary McGuinness, and she soon became the love of his life. Josie and Mary married on the 26th of December 1952. Two years later they discovered that they would soon become parents as Mary was expecting their first child. In the summer of 1955, August 22nd 1955 to be exact Josie and Mary became proud parents of not one but two beautiful sons. Mary had given birth to twins James and Thomas. This was the begining of a family of twelve children. In April 1957 their first daughter Rose-Anne was born. Just over two years later they became parents for the fourth time when Mary gave birth to their second daughter Margaret. After Margaret in July 1960 came Patricia. Mary then brought another son into the world but unfortunately baby Joseph was a stillborn baby. For the young couple it was to be a difficult time as, just a few short months later in November of 1961, not long after discovering Mary was pregnant again, their daughter Patricia died of a childhood illness at the tender age of 16 months old. In June 1962 Josie and Mary were blessed with another son, who they decided to name Joseph. 11 months later in May 1963, came Janet. Followed just over a year later in August 1964 by Mary Catherine. Just days before christmas in the December of 1965 Josie craddled his daughter Angela. In March 1970 Josie and Mary finished their family as they started it, with twins boys Hugh and Michael, but their joy was shortlived. Tragedy again hit the family when baby Micheal died at only a few hours old.
While Josie and Mary, over the years, were adding to their ever expanding family they experienced life in many different homes in places rangeing from the Shore Road, York Street and Nile Street to Upper Library Street and eventually their dream home in Ballymurphy in 1965. They moved into a three bedroom house with their own kitchen and even an inside bathroom.