HEARTFUL TRIBUTE WERE PAYED TO Ashling Murphy this morning at her funeral in Co Offaly.
The murder of the 23-year-old teacher while she was jogging along the canal in Tullamore last week was met with shock, sadness and anger across the country last week.
Hundreds of mourners lined Mount Bolus’ main street to pay tribute to Ashling, including the 1st grade students she taught at Durrow National School who held roses and photos of their teacher.
President Michael D. Higgins, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Attorney General Helen McEntee attended the funeral along with Ministers Catherine Martin, Norma Foley and Pippa Hackett.
At St. Brigid’s Church, symbols from Ashling’s life were presented to the altar. A violin was brought to represent her love of music along with a camogie jersey from Kilcormac and Killoughey and a hurl to represent her love of sport and a school book to represent her career as a teacher.
Crowds gathered outside St. Brigid’s Church for the funeral of Ashling Murphy.
Source: Eamonn Farrell
Ella Flaherty, a childhood friend of Ashling’s, sang the hymns “You are Mine” and “I Watch the Sunrise” during the service.
Paying tribute to Ashling’s parents Kathleen and Ray, her siblings Cathal and Amy and her boyfriend Ryan, Kilcormac and Killoughney vicar Father Michael Meade said: ‘You have been bereft of your most precious gift – a gift that gave only joy, love, fun and Laughs for many beyond your family”.
“The issues that have been raised in many ways and by many voices since this horrific act of violence gripped all of our lives will, we pray, continue to evolve and bring the change that we so desperately need to just give respect and to show,” he said.
Now here we are in another house where Ashling and her family came for prayer with their extended family. Here her journey of faith began with baptism, here and at home in Cully that faith blossomed into a life of love, a life of hope, a life of trust.
This love and joy was not kept on a shelf or boxed up – it was released and shared through music, through sports, through her calling as a teacher. Today we give thanks for the privilege of being a part of this wonderful gift from Ashling Murphy, today we share our love, sadness, faith and comfort with the Murphy and Leonard families.
Among the prayers of the faithful, read by Ashling’s cousins, a prayer that “the many vigils held to commemorate Ashling mark the beginning of an end to violence against women.”
“May the Candlelight Tributes bring eternal hope to all who live in fear.”
As a mark of respect for Ashling Murphy, the Department of Education tricolor remains at half-staff today.
Many elementary, secondary and special schools will also observe a minute’s silence at 11 a.m. this morning.
RIP Ashling – Ardheis Dè go raibh a hanam dílis. pic.twitter.com/0ZYiOtYvNY
— Josepha Madigan ⚖️✨ (@josephamadigan) January 18, 2022
Bishop Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, also offered words of condolences to Ashling’s family and friends, describing the days following her death as a “nightmare”.
“A walk on a mild and sunny January afternoon should be a joyful event, promising the brighter and warmer days of spring and summer. As we know, that was not the case. A depraved act of violence that took the life of a kind, talented, loved and admired young woman has united the country in sorrow and support ever since.”
He said the crime also “posed questions for ourselves and for society.”
It has challenged our attitudes, especially our attitude towards women, and it has challenged our values and morals. Whether these issues will be addressed or ignored remains to be seen, but we cannot allow such violence and disregard for both human life and physical integrity to take root in our time and culture.
“We all know that no person should die like Ashling and no family should suffer like Ashling’s. Respect is an old-fashioned word, but it’s an important one. Respect was absent last Wednesday, but it’s reappeared all the stronger here. Let’s respect each other,” he said.
He paid tribute to Ashling, her family, friends and her students. “Their grief and loss must be recognized and supported. When we return to our lives after today, their grief and loss remain,” he said.
He said if there’s a glimmer of light in the darkness of the past week, it must be “the outpouring of support and sympathy we’ve all seen”.
It has been manifested at the various vigils, it has been manifested by those who have assisted here, at the family home and at Durrow School over the last few days, by those who have quietly and discreetly offered refreshments, caretakers and any help they could, provided. Community matters and community works. Community is needed to overcome evils like this, and community is needed here in the coming weeks.
“Today we bury Ashling as it must be. We bury a woman who lived to the full the short years that were bestowed on her, who developed her talents, who cared for others, who made a difference, who brought happiness and who was loved.”
Irish MEPs observe a minute’s silence in the courtyard @Europarl_EN in memory of Ashling Murphy.
— Frances Fitzgerald MEP (@FitzgeraldFrncs) January 18, 2022
Ashling is buried in Lowertown Cemetery. Condolences can be left for Ashling’s family on RIP.ie or on the Lawless Funerals website.
Durrow National School paid tribute to Ashling this morning, calling her “our dear colleague” and “our shining light”.
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The school shared a video showing footage of Ashling playing the violin alongside tributes from her peers.
As we bury our dear colleague, Mrs. Ashling Murphy, today, January 18, 2022. We remember “Our Shining Light!” Ashling will always be in our hearts. Fly high in the sky, our shining light, Ms. Murphy. We love you! ❤️❤️❤️https://t.co/xwMR6jeU0R about @youtube
— Scoil Cholmcille (@DurrowNS) January 18, 2022
On the occasion of the funeral, INTO, ASTI, FÓRSA and TUI asked that students and teachers be silent in their memory this morning. The silence was observed in schools across the country.
Tens of thousands of people have attended vigils and memorials to remember Ashling over the past few days, and hundreds rallied again across the country and around the world yesterday.
On Friday, President Higgins paid tribute to Ashling’s “short but brilliant and bountiful life.”
“I spoke to Ashling’s family to express, as President, on behalf of the Irish people and on behalf of Sabina and myself as parents, my deepest sympathy and sadness and sense of loss at what her tragic death meant to so many, but what especially it means to her mother, Kathleen, father, Raymond, sister, Amy, and brother, Cathal,” said President Higgins.
“I have tried to convey a sense of how so many parents, families, indeed all people in Ireland are thinking of the Murphy family at this very sad time. The loss of Ashling is a loss for all of us, but it is indescribable for her family.”
A man in his 30s has been arrested in connection with Ashling’s death.
– With reports by Hayley Halpin