Ashling Murphy: People gather for vigils around world

Vigils for 23-year-old have taken place in London, Edinburgh, New York, Dubai and Brisbane

Members of the Irish community in Yonkers, New York held a candlelight vigil in honour of murdered Tullamore woman Aisling Murphy over the weekend. Video: Joan Henchy

 

Thousands of people gathered for vigils across Ireland and the world to remember Ashling Murphy over the weekend.

Vigils for the 23-year-old have taken place in London, Edinburgh, New York, Dubai and Brisbane.

Ms Murphy was killed as she was jogging along a stretch of the canal bank at Cappincur, Tullamore, Co Offaly last Wednesday.

She was from the townland of Blueball, located on the outskirts of Tullamore and was a first class teacher at Durrow National School. She had previously played camogie for Offaly and was a talented traditional musician.

Vigils, which have been organised at local beaches, GAA clubs, parks and walkways, in memory of the young woman have attracted hundreds of people across all age groups in recent days.

Musicians play at a vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore town Park, County Offaly. Photograph: Damien Eagers/PA
Musicians play at a vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore town Park, County Offaly. Photograph: Damien Eagers/PA

Crowd

In Cork, a large crowd attended a vigil and walk on Saturday morning at the Atlantic Pond. A rally organised by Socialist Feminist Movement Rosa was held in Dublin’s Smithfield Square on Saturday afternoon.

Similar events took place in Dún Laoghaire, Sandymount, Drimnagh, Templeogue, Portmarnock, the Waterford Greenway, Portumna, Co Galway, Ballina, Co Mayo, Ballymahon, Co Longford, Doorly Park in Sligo town, Lurgan, Co Armagh, Birr, Co Offaly, the Greenway in Moate, Co Westmeath, Carlow town, Co Monaghan and Kilkenny Castle on Saturday and Sunday.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Irish Centre in Camden in London on Saturday to hear music and observe a minute’s silence.

Anna Johnston, cultural officer at the London Irish Centre, said people had come together in solidarity with those who knew and loved Ms Murphy “and all the women of Ireland and further afield who are angry, distressed and heartbroken”.

People leave candles and flowers at a make-shift shrine during a vigil at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People leave candles and flowers at a make-shift shrine during a vigil at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Around 200 people turned out in Yonkers in New York on Friday night for a vigil which was organised by the local Aisling Irish Community & Cultural Centre. Dozens of people gathered outside the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh on Saturday to remember Ms Murphy. A vigil also took place at Kite Beach in Dubai on Sunday evening.

Coincide

Some of the events began at 4pm to coincide with the time Ms Murphy was fatally attacked, including the two large vigils which took place on Friday in Tullamore and outside Dáil Éireann in Dublin.

Local people attend a vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore Town Park, County Offaly. Photograph: Damien Egers/PA
Local people attend a vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore Town Park, County Offaly. Photograph: Damien Egers/PA

Another vigil outside the Dáil is also being organised by Rosa, the Social Feminist Movement at 4pm this Wednesday, to mark the week anniversary of Ms Murphy’s death and to call for emergency action to tackle violence against women.

A book of condolence has also been opened by Dublin City Council for the people of Dublin to express their sympathies to the family of Ms Murphy.

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 her family.

A number of other local authorities have similarly opened books of condolence, including Offaly County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Westmeath County Council, Fingal County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Tipperary County Council.