Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old teacher living in Tullamore, County Offaly, was murdered on Wednesday while out for a run.
We are devastated to bring you the news that Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old teacher living in Tullamore, County Offaly, was murdered on Wednesday. She was reported to have been out for a run at the time, and was running along a popular canal path at around 4pm when she was attacked.
Sky News reported that the Irish premier Micheal Martin said: “The entire country is devastated and shocked by the violent and barbaric killing of Ashling Murphy, a young woman in the prime of her life. There is no place in our society for violence, particularly violence against women. It cannot and will not be tolerated.”
We’ve seen on other news sites that her murder has been described as “an unprovoked attack”. This is extremely problematic – it suggests that potentially some murders are provoked (who provokes murder?), and it also suggests that in some way Ashling’s murder is blameless while others have an element of blame. Let’s sort that one out straight away: no woman is to blame for their murder. They are victims: where they were, what they were doing, what they were wearing and who they were with does not justify or in some way balance out the horror of what happened to them.
We are shocked at yet another violent act against a woman: and the fact that the attack took place in daylight, and on a well-used route is simply terrifying for all women. The questions for us all to consider now are: how can we stop this from happening, and how can we ensure we all feel safe when we leave our homes
For us, it feels like we’ve not recovered from the bodyshock of the last woman to have been killed by a man – whether or not she was going for a run, or walking home, or simply hanging out with her sister. And then this. We are devastated and furious, and we’re sure you’re feeling some similar emotions. So what do we do now? Right now we’re going to be thinking of Ashling’s family at this truly awful time, and we’re going to be thinking about what we can all do as a running collective to make things better for all women. Tell us your thoughts and ideas, please, and look after one another.