Vigils are to be held in Ireland after the ‘senseless’ murder of a 23-year-old teacher, with echoes of the national judgment that was sparked in the UK last year by the murder of Sarah Everard.
Ashling Murphy was killed on Wednesday afternoon as he ran along the banks of the Grand Canal at Tullamore in County Offaly.
The murder has caused an outpouring of grief on the island of Ireland and beyond, as well as anger and revulsion towards another young woman who was allegedly murdered while going about her business in public.
Irish police had arrested and detained a man, but he has since been released. “This man has been cleared from Garda investigations and is no longer a suspect,” a Garda Síochána spokesperson told Irish News. The police have promised to spare no effort to bring the killer to justice.
Murphy was a teacher at Durrow National School and a musician. Her father, Raymond, told the Mirror: “She was just a special girl. She’s the youngest, a little angel. She was a brilliant girl in every way.
Rallies and vigils will be held across Ireland and the UK over the weekend, including in Dublin, Limerick, Belfast, Derry and London, with thousands expected to turn out. Senior politicians have expressed concern and solidarity.
In London, a vigil will be held at the London Irish Center in Camden Town on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“My thoughts tonight are with the family of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime, her friends and her community,” tweeted Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee. “The gardaí will investigate this horrific crime and ensure justice is served.”
“The entire country is shocked and devastated by the horrific murder of…Ashling Murphy as he went for a run. Her family, friends, colleagues and the children she taught are in our thoughts this morning,” Stormont Deputy Premier Michelle O’Neill tweeted, “Violence against women and girls must end.”
Murphy’s mother, Kathleen, told the Mirror: ‘The last thing she would say in the morning on the way out was ‘Mom, I love you’.”
The murder follows the conviction of Wayne Couzens for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, as she returned home in March last year. Couzens, who at the time of the crime was a serving Metropolitan Police officer, was sentenced to life in prison.
Last month Koci Selamaj accepted responsibility for the death of 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessa in London in September. She was found dead a day after leaving her home to meet a friend at a nearby bar. Selamaj has pleaded not guilty to his murder and the trial continues.
“There must be zero tolerance for any violence against women,” tweeted Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. “Truly devastating and senseless. Every effort is made to ensure justice is done. »
“It is chilling to hear that another woman has been brutally murdered here on our island,” said Nichola Mallon, SDLP deputy leader and Stormont Minister for Infrastructure. “That’s why women all over our island don’t feel safe.”