Hundreds attend vigils across the county in memory of Ashling Murphy

‘Toxic masculinity needs to be stamped out’

Hundreds of people attended vigils and memorial events across County Roscommon last weekend in memory of Ashling Murphy, the young primary school teacher who was brutally murdered in Tullamore on Wednesday, January 12th.

  Candlelit vigils were held in Roscommon town, Strokestown, Castlerea, and Elphin, while walks and memorial events were hosted by sports clubs and communities in Lisacul, Knockcroghery, Boyle and a number of other areas.

  The Roscommon senior football team also took the decision not to wear the number 23 jersey for the FBD League Final against Galway on Friday last as a mark of respect.

  The 23-year-old Durrow National School teacher tragically lost her life following an attack in broad daylight while out for a run along the banks of the canal at Cappincur, Tullamore on Wednesday week last.

  There was a strong turnout at last Friday’s candlelit vigil in Roscommon town, where local people held a minute’s silence in memory of Ms. Murphy.

  Addressing the large gathering in the Square, organiser Niamh Molloy called on those present to ensure that the event becomes “a watershed moment and a line drawn in the sand” when it comes to violence against women.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People, Ms. Molloy said she had wanted to stand in solidarity with the Murphy family.

  “I was going to come here with my daughter and if it was just the two of us then at least we could stand in solidarity with Ashling and her friends and family in Tullamore who are going through such a difficult time at the moment,” she said.

  “It’s very important that then men and women of Ireland come out and say that this should not happen in this day and age. We need to stop violence against women, we need to stop harassment, and we need to stop the culture around it.

  “I think we need a whole societal and cultural change and shift. It’s about people standing up when they hear these simple conversations that have connotations in terms of sexual harassment or so-called ‘locker room talk’. Toxic masculinity needs to be stamped out and it’s important that people say they are not going to be a bystander any more.

  “Once the Irish people decide that, the legislation will follow because at the end of the day, we are the voters and the ones who can push this across the line. I think it’s important to think of this as the start of a movement and it’s something that has to happen sooner rather than later. It’s such a stain on our society that people think violence against women isn’t as serious as it is,” she concluded.