The light of Lismore

Rosita Boland interviews Dervla for The Irish Times

At 10 years old, Dervla Muphy planned her first major odyssey: a cycling trip to India. Now 78, the seasoned travel writer still drinks beer from a tin, has been known to run naked around her garden, and hasn’t given up travelling – even when she’s at home in Waterford.

The first thing travel writer Dervla Murphy does when I call about arranging a time for an interview at her home in Lismore, Co Waterford, is to offer me a bed for the night. Interviewees do not, as a matter of course, offer journalists accommodation. But when you have traversed the world, as Murphy has, receiving indiscriminate hospitality from strangers for almost half a century, it seems entirely appropriate that her instinct is to offer likewise for someone passing by in transit . . .