The Michael J Murphy Winter School is the idea of commemorating the work of Michael J. Murphy in his native south Armagh began in may 1992 when An Cumann le Bealoideas Eireann (the Folklore of Ireland Society) decided to hold its annual ‘Tionol’ in Aras an Phobail, an Mullach Ban.
In may 1999 a local committee, based in the newly opened Ti Chulainn Cultural Activity Center, organised a Michael J Murphy Winter School under the title ‘The Rural Landscape in the New Millenium’ and followed up in May 2000 with the theme ‘The Literature of the Land’ in Dromintee GAA social club and Ti Chulainn.
After a lapse of a number of years the Cuimhneamh Oral History group based in the rejuvenated Ti Chulainn Centre marked the centenary of Michael J’s birth in 1913 by re-issuing his first book ‘At Slieve Gullion’s Foot’ at a Michael J Murphy Winter School, which featured an exhibition of his outstanding photographs. It continued with a similar event in November 2014 and in November 2015 when the theme was ‘A Sense of Place’ and also saw the introduction of ‘The Michael J. Murphy short story competition’.
The Michael J. Murphy winter school has now become an essential highlight in the cultural calendar.