Ashling Murphy: Canalside bench built for people ‘to stop and remember’

Tullamore Men’s Shed installed bench in memory of murdered teacher on the bank of the Grand Canal

“We just wanted to encourage people to walk along the canal again, to have a place where they could stop for a minute, to sit down and relax and remember Ashling” said Tom Finnerty of Tullamore Men’s Shed who have installed a bench at the memorial for the murdered teacher on the bank of the Grand Canal.

The location where the teacher (23) and musician was killed last January is marked with flowers and photographs and now the wooden bench.

“It was a personal project for us. It’s something we do for people we know. I know the Murphy family. God help them. It was an awful thing that happened — for them and for Tullamore.”

The plain wooden bench was made by the eight members of the Men’s Shed group over a number of days. There is no plaque to acknowledge their involvement. “It was a mental health project for us. We meet every day to help and support each other,” Mr Finnerty said.


The bench was installed in August and has become a focal point for walkers.

“We knew there were women who would not walk there any more after what happened to Ashling. We wanted people to have a place to go.”

The Men’s Shed group also works with Rehab in Tullamore to help train people to make wooden bird boxes and do small projects. Proceeds from the sale of the items they make are then used to buy more materials.