Murphys of Littleton was founded by Joe Murphy who was born in Graiguenamanagh, Co.Kilkenny, the son of a farmer.
He started up in business in the Commons, Co.Tipperary, in 1947 and then moved from Rearcross to Littleton, Thurles in 1953.
As a general merchant at this time he became aware of a successful Dutch fertilizer spreader being sold in Ireland by Lister, and wondered if anything similar was available in Holland.
A telephone conversation to the Dutch Embassy bought a rapid response from PJ Zweegers (PZ himself).
Zweegers was prepared to send three of his long-box pan and flicker spreaders on a sale-or-return basis, an unusual practice at this time. The machine proved to be an excellent performer.
By 1956 Joe had been appointed PZ importer, a franchise which the company still holds.
The PZ fertilizer spreader became market leader within three years. Later following the success of PZ, Vicon, another leading Dutch manufacture, approached Joe and offered the Vicon Franchise.
In 1980 Murphy's were appointed a Massey-Ferguson dealer and during this decade they became importers of the Kverneland plough franchise. They bought the former Mahon and Mc Phillips premises in Kilkenny and became importers of Fendt tractors and Mengele harvesters as well.
Joe Murphy retired from active business life during the eighties, and his sons Pat and Fintan, led the rapid expansion of the company transforming it from an importer / distributor of specialized, volume-selling implements to a complex group involved in importing, distributing and retailing agricultural machinery.
They also diversified and developed the industrial and materials division to Include Toyota and Manitou forklifts.
Spring Show 1965: Left to right , The late Minster Jim Gibbons TD, Taking a closer stock of the new PZ cyclomower, Joe Murphy, The late Minister George Colley TD, Tony Zweegers (PZ), and Jan Collert (PZ).