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Vigils to take place across the country for Ashling Murphy


Scores of vigils are to take place across the country on Friday and over the weekend, in response to the killing of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland was holding a vigil in memory of Ms Murphy outside Leinster House at 4pm on Friday.

A large crowd attends a vigil for teacher Ashling Murphy outside Leinster House. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times
A large crowd attends a vigil for teacher Ashling Murphy outside Leinster House. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Other vigils have been organised at Arthur’s Quay Park in Limerick, the Atlantic Pond in Cork, City Hall in Belfast, and the town park in Tullamore.

A book of condolence has been opened by Dublin City Council for the people of Dublin to express their sympathies to the family of Ms Murphy. The 23-year-old teacher died after she was attacked while out for a run along a canal on Wednesday afternoon.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland said that due to Covid-19 restrictions a virtual book of condolence would be available for people to sign online, with messages to be printed and sent to the young woman’s family.

A number of other local authorities have similarly opened books of condolence, including Offaly County Council, Limerick City and County Council, and Westmeath County Council.

Among the smaller vigils organised across the country are memorials in Bray, Maynooth, Clonmel, Navan, Ennis, Gorey, Dingle, Lucan, Portmarnock, Omagh, Letterkenny, and Ballina.

People leave messages at a vigil to remember Ashling Murphy at Tullamore Town Park on Friday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
People leave messages at a vigil to remember Ashling Murphy at Tullamore Town Park on Friday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has said the nationwide outpouring of grief and anger following the killing of Ashling Murphy “must be a watershed moment in ending men’s violence against women”.

Speaking ahead of the organisation’s vigil on Friday, NWCI director Orla O’Connor said women across the country had been “sharing their stories of abuse and harassment, and how they curtail their lives so that they feel safer”.

“Ultimately, we know there is no behaviour change women can make that will keep them safe from men’s violence. So, we need to talk about what we can do,” she said.

“Women must be safe in our homes and our communities; we need to end men’s violence against women. At the highest level, this requires real political leadership.”

Ms O’Connor said it was necessary to have a Government department with responsibility for ending gender-based violence, with a Minister responsible for tackling violence against women sitting at the Cabinet table.

Greater supports and resources for women who experience gender-based violence were also needed, she said.

Musician friends of Ashling Murphy play at a vigil for Ashling at Tullamore Town Park. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
Musician friends of Ashling Murphy play at a vigil for Ashling at Tullamore Town Park. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

“Ultimately though, we need to focus on prevention. This means, for example, funding and resources for programmes in second- and third-level education. It means policy change in our education system to ensure the casual sexism that girls and women experience is unacceptable. It means zero tolerance toward street harassment, and always toward harassment in the workplace.”

People were encouraged to bring flowers or candles to the NWCI vigil outside the Dáil on Friday, and were asked to respect current public health guidance relating to Covid-19 while attending.

A list of vigils

Dublin city – #VigilforAshling, outside the Dáil, 4pm on Friday
Limerick city – Arthur’s Quay Park, 6pm on Friday
Cork city – Atlantic Pond, 9.30am on Saturday
Belfast – Belfast City Hall, 4pm on Friday
Derry city – Guildhall steps, 4pm on Friday
Tullamore, Co Offaly – Tullamore Town Park, 4pm on Friday
Carlow town – The fountain, 6pm on Friday
Clonmel, Co Tipperary – Main Guard, 6pm on Friday
Nenagh, Co Tipperary – Banba Square, 4.30pm on Friday
Cappincur, Co Offaly – Digby Bridge, 4.30pm on Friday
Dundalk, Co Louth – The square, 5pm on Friday
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin – Seafront entrance to People’s Park, 4pm on Saturday
Waterford city – People’s Park, 6pm on Friday
Bray, Co Wicklow – Bray Town Council, 4pm on Friday
Wexford town – Wexford Quay, 4pm on Friday
Drimnagh, Dublin 8 – Drimnagh Luas station, 8am on Saturday
Navan, Co Meath – Blackwater Park, 4pm on Friday
Maynooth, Co Kildare – Maynooth Square, 4pm on Friday
Greystones, Co Wicklow – Men’s Cove, 4pm on Friday
Sligo town – Doorly Park, 4pm on Sunday
Waterford Greenway, Carriganore, Waterford – 4pm on Saturday
Oldcastle, Co Meath – The square, 4pm on Friday
Birr, Co Offaly – John’s Hall, 7pm on Sunday
Ardee, Co Donegal – The diamond, 5pm on Friday
Dungarvan, Co Waterford – Walton Park, 6.15pm on Friday
Killorglin, Co Kerry – Library Place, 4pm on Friday
Ballina, Co Mayo – Abbeyhalfquarter, 7pm on Saturday
Portumna, Co Galway – Town square, 6pm on Saturday
Strabane, Co Tyrone – Strabane square, 4pm on Friday
Ballydavid, Co Kerry – The pier, 6.16pm on Friday
Ballymahon, Co Longford – Ballymahon GAA club, 6.30pm on Saturday
Portmartnock, Co Dublin – Portmarnock beach, 5pm on Saturday
Tralee, Co Kerry – Town square, 4pm on Friday
Co Cork – Kanturk Place, 6pm on Friday
Ennis, Co Clare – Fair Green, 4pm on Friday
Armagh town – Market Street, 4pm on Friday
Gorey, Co Wexford – Main Street, 6.30pm on Friday
Castleblaney, Co Monaghan – Hope Castle, 4.30pm on Friday
Moate, Co Westmeath – The greenway, 4pm on Sunday
Dingle, Co Kerry – The marina, 4pm on Friday
Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh – Fermanagh House, 6pm on Friday
Westport, Co Mayo – The Mall, 8pm on Friday
London – London Irish Centre, 4pm on Saturday
Mallow, Co Cork – Lidl, 7pm on Friday
Lucan, Co Dublin – Lucan Weir, 4pm on Friday
Buttevant, Co Cork – Buttevant Primary School, 7pm on Friday
Ennistymon, Co Clare – Ennistymon Town Square, 5.30pm on Friday
Ashbourne, Co Meath – Arkle monument, 4pm on Friday
Omagh, Co Tyrone – Killyclogher, 4pm on Friday
Drogheda – The Ramparts, 4.30pm on Friday
Crossmaglen, Co Armagh – The square, 4pm on Friday
Letterkenny, Co Donegal – Market Square, 7pm on Friday
Ardee, Co Louth – Ardee Library, 4pm on Friday
Kilkenny city – Kilkenny Castle, 2pm on Sunday
Valentia Island – Cracow Park, 4.25pm on Friday
National Deaf Women of Ireland – Facebook Live, 6pm on Friday
Omagh, Co Tyrone – Dún Uladh Cultural Heritage Centre, 6pm on Friday
Kilkenny city – Castle Yard, at Amber’s Love Star Installation, 4pm on Friday
Millstreet, Co Cork – Millstreet Town Park (Astroturf), 6pm on Friday
Wicklow town – Walking from Murrough Playground Carpark to Bachelor‘s Walk, 6pm on Friday



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