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Widespread outrage in Ireland over femicide of Ashling Murphy

Sunday 23 January 2022, by siawi3


Widespread outrage in Ireland over femicide of Ashling Murphy

The 23-year-old primary school teacher was murdered while she was jogging on the canal walkway near Tullamore in County Offaly

January 17, 2022

by Peoples Dispatch

Vigil held for Ashling Murphy in Belfast. Photo: Reclaim the Night Belfast

Vigils continue to take place across Ireland, UK, and other parts of the world in memory of Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old primary school teacher who was brutally murdered while going for a run in County Offaly in Ireland on Wednesday, January 12. The murder has triggered widespread outrage within the Irish civil society. Women rights groups and other progressive sections hit the streets to protest the femicide and demand justice for Murphy. Vigils were reported from Irish cities such as Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Belfast, Galway, Derry, Tyrone, Armagh and Tullamore, as well as in Edinburgh, London, New York, Melbourne and Vancouver. The hashtags “#SheWasGoingForARun” and “#VigilForAshling” have also trended across social media.

Murphy was found dead on the banks of the Grand Canal outside Tullamore, County Offaly, on Wednesday evening. According to reports, she was attacked while jogging on the canal walkway and sustained serious injuries. She was confirmed to have died from strangulation. The police first arrested a 40-year-man in connection with the attack who was later released after they failed to find evidence against him. On January 14, police identified another person as a possible suspect. He is currently receiving treatment for injuries at a hospital.

Irish Times reported that the “Police believe Ms. Murphy – a talented musician from the townland of Blueball just outside Tullamore – tried to fight off her attacker, resulting in the man who killed her leaving forensic evidence at the scene.”

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, the current opposition leader in the Irish parliament, said, “we have the right to be safe on our streets and in our homes, in daylight or darkness. Violence or the fear of it blights the lives of women and girls. It took Ashling’s life.”

McDonald announced that her party will bring forward a private member’s bill in the Dáil next week outlining changes that the government must implement to eliminate violence against women and girls. The motion is likely to set out key policies needed to ensure that such crimes are prevented and for ending tolerance of gender-based harassment and violence.

In a statement on January 14, the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) stated that “men have a responsibility to examine their behavior and attitudes towards women. Women have the right to walk, run, to socialize where and when they so wish, to do so without fear of sexual harassment or violence from men.”

Various groups including the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM), Workers Party of Ireland, Peoples Before Profit, Unite the Union, Trade Union Left Forum, among others, also expressed shock and outrage at the murder.