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Memorial held for Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging Memorial held for Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging 

Ireland: Violence against women under spotlight after woman’s murder

Vigils are held throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on Friday calling for an end to violence against women following the murder of a young teacher.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Another woman’s life was cut tragically short by violence this week, leaving the Irish nation in shock.

Ashling Murphy, a  23-year-old teacher, was killed in Tullamore in the Irish midlands on Wednesday while out jogging.

Police say the attack was likely random and that the perpetrator is still at large.

Watershed moment

Aisling’s murder is being seen as a “watershed moment" in the call to stamp out violence against women.

Many Irish towns and cities came to a standstill on Friday to remember a young woman and talented musician.

Among the 100 vigils organized the length and breadth of Ireland and Northern Ireland was one held outside the Irish parliament in Dublin, where a minute's silence was held at 4.30 p.m., close to the time Ms. Murphy was attacked.

Those paying tribute to the young teacher included Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin who said the government has been working over the last year on a national strategy on domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence, the centrepiece of which is zero tolerance for violence against women.

Violence and abuse

Aisling Murphy’s name will now be added to the long list of women who have died as a result of violence.

Last year, the killing of 33-year-old marketing executive, Sarah Everard made headlines in Britain when she was kidnapped and murdered by a serving police officer.

Her death sparked widespread debate about women's safety and violence against women in the UK.

And during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, reports of domestic abuse increased globally.

Pope Francis’ plea

Just over two weeks ago while celebrating Mass on New Year’s Day, Pope Francis called for an end to violence against women.

In a homily centred around motherhood and women, the Pope said, “Since mothers bestow life, and women keep the world [together], let us all make greater efforts to promote mothers and to protect women.”

He added, “How much violence is directed against women! Enough. To hurt a woman is to insult God, who from a woman took on our humanity – not through an angel, not directly, but through a woman.”

15 January 2022, 13:56