- 13 Jan 22
"The appalling murder of Ashling Murphy, a young woman in Co. Offaly, yesterday is a shocking example of the dangers posed to women by violent men," says Sarah Benson, CEO of Women's Aid.
A vigil is set to be held outside Dáil Éíreann this Friday, January 14, from 4pm, in memory of Ashling Murphy – a 23-year-old teacher and talented musician who was fatally attacked while jogging along the canal at Cappincur in Co. Offaly yesterday afternoon.
The vigil is being organised by the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI).
"Ashling Murphy was killed yesterday when she was on a jog, in broad daylight," the organisation have stated, in a post shared on social media. "There has been a huge outpouring of grief and support across Ireland for Ashling and her family.
"Tomorrow at 4pm, around the time Ashling was killed, we will hold a vigil to remember Ashling and to support all who knew and loved her."
The NWCI ask all vigil attendees to "wear appropriate face masks and maintain social distance." Those who can't attend the vigil in person are encouraged to "light a candle in remembrance of Ashling", wherever they are, at 4.30pm, and hold a minute's silence.
Lots of people who can’t be at the vigil in person - can you wherever you are at 4.30pm light a candle in remembrance of Ashling, and we will have a minute’s silence at the vigil at this time #vigilforashling
— Womenscouncilireland (@NWCI) January 13, 2022
Women's Aid have also shared a statement in response to the murder of Ashling Murphy:
“The killing of women is the extreme end of a spectrum of violence and abuse that women in Ireland and across the world experience every day," says Sarah Benson, CEO of Women's Aid. "The appalling murder of Ashling Murphy, a young woman in Co. Offaly, yesterday is a shocking example of the dangers posed to women by violent men. We offer our sincere condolences to Ashling’s family, friends and community.
“The Women’s Aid Femicide Watch shows that in the majority of homicide incidents, women have been killed by a man known to them (87%). While 13% of women were killed by a stranger. While the killing of women by strangers are rare, they highlight the climate of fear in which women live our lives.
“As with the horrific case of Sarah Everard’s murder in the UK last year, we see on social media, an outpouring of women’s lifelong experiences of systemic misogyny and casual sexism and abuse. We are also hearing of the internalised fears many women carry no matter where they are in public places because of this. Any response to yesterday’s appalling events must not focus on places – it must focus on perpetrators. We must not fall into tired tropes of examining whether areas are ‘safe’ but consider instead the attitudes and actions of men who make women feel unsafe even in crowded and well lit areas.
“Women are not afraid of the dark or a lonely space. They are afraid of a violent male perpetrator in the dark. Not all men are violent, and I don’t think anyone is claiming that. However, the majority of violence against women, and indeed men, is perpetrated by men. That’s something as a whole society, including men, we need to tackle.
“Every woman should have the right to be safe, both in their own homes and in their communities. We need a zero tolerance to all forms of male violence against women and it will take all of us to commit to lasting change. This includes men who must act as allies in tackling misogyny and inequality. There needs to be an investment in resources for education to change attitudes and we need an improved criminal justice system that better protects women. If we do this, we will ultimately create a more equal and safer society for everyone – men and women alike.”
A man in his 40s is currently being detained at Tullamore Garda Station, under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, in connection with the murder.