‘Age is no barrier’, says journalist Peter Murtagh at launch of travel book

Author’s new book is based on his retirement adventure with a motorbike and a tent

“Take your chances and go and do it,” was a key lesson journalist Peter Murtagh took from his motorbike trip from the southern tip of South America to the northern top of Alaska.

Murtagh, who retired from The Irish Times in 2019 and then had his planned trip delayed by the Covid pandemic, set out in late 2022 from southernmost Chile with his motorbike and tent, and filed occasional reports for his former employer.

On Thursday in Hodges Figgis bookshop, at the launch of his book, From Tip to Top, Murtagh said the main thing he learned from his trip was that he could actually do it.

“The world really is small and you can go anywhere with such ease now,” he told a gathering of family, friends and former colleagues. The second thing he learned was “fear not”.


“I think being scared about going out into the world because you are scared of what might happen is such a diminishing thing to do, take your chances and go and do it. Age is no barrier. It is never too late to start,” he said.

Earlier “kind of retired” RTÉ broadcaster Sean O’Rourke described Murtagh’s book as “an astonishing piece of work, a wonderful succession of stories really well told”. The author, he said, was “one of the finest journalists of our time”.

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Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent