Ashling Murphy vigil live: Hundreds gather on Kildare Street to mourn murdered teacher

1 ashling murphy vigil dublin.jpg
1 ashling murphy vigil dublin.jpg

Hundreds have turned out to the vigil for murdered teacher Ashling Murphy on Kildare Street outside the gates of the Dail.

The 23-year-old primary school teacher died in a random attack while out for a run along a popular walkway in Tullamore at around 4pm.

The brutal act has sparked outrage and raised concerns about women’s safety – even while exercising in public in broad daylight.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland, who organised the vigil, called for women to be safe in their homes and communities and for an end to men’s violence against women.

Among those that turned up to the event were Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Labour TDs Aodhan O’Riordain and Ivana Bacik.

Friends of Ashling are expected to play some music in memory of the primary school teacher.

The vigil can watched as it happens on our Facebook page here.

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Jim McAlistair of Comhaltas speaks of his memeroies of Ashling

He toldf mourners at the vigil on Kildare Street: “Ashling had a passion and her passion was music. And her musical career started, as do many of the others that you’ve heard tonight, when she was seven years of age.

“The testimony to her parents is that they brought her when she wasn’t able to play until she got to the stage where she was the county champion, provincial champion and an all Ireland champion. And only the best ever get asked to go on Comhaltas tours which have become infamous. All the famous musicians have all been on Comhaltas tours and Ashling was one of those.

“She was an integral part of the tour of Ireland in 2017 and the Tour of Britain in 2018. And, again, the friendships that are made in those tours that come back and last a lifetime.

“Unfortunately, Ashling’s lifetime has been far too short. She joined the National Folk orchestra of Ireland and was an integral part of it. One of the things I would really like to say the young people that played here today they come along they are part of the Folk orchestra. These young people give of their time, they don’t get paid. They come.

Ashling Murphy vigil

“They give weekends to rehearse, they go and they do performances all on a voluntary basis and that was so essential to Ashling and her family because both Comhlatas and the GAA are so based in the voluntary sector. She was fulfilling that aspect of it at 23 years of age.

“She was teaching in a local branch. She was entering children for traditional music exams. I spoke to her about six or seven months ago because I had made a mistake and I left one over children off. And I got a tongue lashing on the telephone from her because she was passionate about passing it on.

“And that was it was about. The last thing I want to say is that when you pack up when you finish rehearsal, so many young people just get into the car and go home. Aishling was one of four or five who always picked up a bag.

“She always made sure that she didn’t just pick up her stuff, she picked up other people’s stuff. That comes from the family. That doesn’t just happen.

“It comes because her parents cared for her, they loved her and they though her all the essential values. All I can say as a parent to a daughter, to a grandparent of granddaughters, I just can’t imagine what they are suffering tonight.”

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President Michael D Higgins issues statement on Ashling Murphy murder

“People throughout Ireland, in every generation, have been expressing their shock, grief, anger and upset at the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy.

“This morning I spoke to Ashling’s family to convey, as President on behalf of the people of Ireland, and on behalf of Sabina and myself as parents, my profound sympathy and sorrow and sense of loss that her tragic death has meant to so many, but what in particular it must mean to her mother Kathleen, father Raymond, sister Amy and brother Cathal.

“I sought to convey a sense of how so many parents, families, indeed all of the people of Ireland are thinking of the Murphy family at this very sad time. The loss of Ashling is a loss to all of us, but to her family it is beyond description.

“The outpouring of grief at the death of Ashling shows how we have all been very touched, and it is so exemplary for young and old, to read of all Ashling’s accomplishments during her short but brilliant and generous life.

“Those who knew, studied with her, or as we have heard, loved her as a young gifted teacher, all have borne witness to a life of generous commitment to her local community and to her creativity. As a young, talented and enthusiastic teacher she had already made such a positive impact on her young students and colleagues at school. To hear them speak of her is such a testament to the joy of sharing, be it in teaching, music or sport, that she conveyed in a way which must have brought much joy to all. She represented the best of her generation, in a life they will recall as inspirational.

“It is of crucial importance that we take this opportunity, as so many people have already done in the short time since Ashling’s death, to reflect on what needs to be done to eliminate violence against women in all its aspects from our society, and how that work can neither be postponed nor begin too early.

“May I suggest to all our people to reflect on all of our actions and attitudes – and indeed those we may have been leaving unchallenged amongst those whom we know – and do all we can to ensure that the society we live in is one where all of our citizens are free to live their lives, participate fully, in an atmosphere that is unencumbered by risks for their safety. Let us respond to this moment of Ashling’s death by committing to the creation of a kinder, more compassionate and empathetic society for all, one that will seek to eliminate all threats of violence against any of our citizens, and commit in particular to bringing an end, at home and abroad, to violence against women in any of its forms.

“Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam uasal dílis, Ashling.”

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Ashling’s friend speaks of her childhood with the talented musician

Grace Corrigan, a friend and colleague of Ashling, told those at the vigil about the primary school teachers.

She said: “Ashling Muprhy, I don’t know where to start. She was one of the nicest, kindest most caring person you could ever possibly meet in your life.”

“I’ve known Ashling for nearly 20 years at this point through Ceoltais. We grew up playing music together and I have loads of fond memories with her. Sitting up on a high stool eating a packet of King crisps and drinking coke from a glass bottle just waiting to go into thin whistle lessons.”

“It all meant so much to her.”

“And then as we continue into our teens and on into our adult lives and into the Fleadhs, Ashling would always take it easy at them because she would always have a competition or something becasue she was always at that level of muscianship.”

“You’d look over at her at a session and she would pick a big wink and and an even bigger smile on her face. She was just so happy all the time she would lift you up.”

“She was the kind of person who when she asked ‘how are you?’ she genuionely cared for the answer. And she would repeat back to you six months later. Such a caring, caring person.”

“On behalf of evey musician here tonight and every musician across the country, our deepest, deepest condolences go out to Ray, Kathleen and her brother Cathal.”

“Just an incredible beautiful person. This shouldn’t have happened.”

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