John A. Murphy (born 17 January 1927) is an Irish historian and a former senator. He is currently Emeritus Professor of history at University College Cork (UCC).
Murphy was born in Macroom, County Cork, and has said he was very bookish as a boy. He won a County Council scholarship in 1945 to study history at UCC, and graduated in 1948 with a first-class honours degree and first place in both History and Latin. He took an MA in Cork before taking up a teaching post at the diocesan seminary at Farranferris in Cork city.
In 1960 he became an assistant lecturer at UCC, and was appointed Professor of Irish History in 1971, holding that chair until his retirement in 1990. His 1975 book Ireland in the Twentieth Century was one of the first surveys of contemporary Irish history.
From 1977 to 1982, and between 1987 and 1992, Murphy represented the National University of Ireland constituency as an independent member of Seanad Éireann. As a senator, he was noted for his advocacy of political and cultural pluralism. Earlier he had been a supporter of Noel Browne's socially progressive Mother and Child Scheme.Murphy, John A. (1975). Ireland in the Twentieth Century. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. ISBN 0-7171-0568-7.
Murphy, John A.; O'Carroll, J. P. (eds), De Valera and his times, Cork University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-7171-0568-7
Murphy, John A. (1995). The College : A history of Queen's/University College Cork, 1845-1995. Cork: Cork University Press. ISBN 1-85918-056-6.
Murphy, John A. (1995). Cuimhne dhá laoch : MacCurtain and MacSwiney. Cork: Cork Public Museum, 1995. ISBN 978-1-898168-13-3.