Ulster’s breathtaking Mountains of Mourne are one of Ireland’s most celebrated beauty spots. But did you know the Mournes are also renowned for their extraordinary giants – the mythical Finn MacCool and the real life Patrick Murphy?
Patrick was born on 15th June 1834 near the Cassy Water. His parents were James and Peggy Murphy. As a child he was of normal height, requiring no ‘outsized pants, night-shirts or boots’.
However, when Patrick was 20 he began to grow rapidly, until he reached remarkable height of 8ft 1in! At that time he was said to be the tallest man in the world. It’s reckoned his incredible height was due to ‘the excessive functioning of his pituitary gland’ an important gland situated at the base of the brain affecting growth. Yet he rarely took advantage of his superior height or strength.
Once, however, when two players at a football match angered him, he lifted the pair off the ground then banged their heads together. And, when another man annoyed him, he promptly threw him over a fence and into a field.