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Ashling Murphy: Tears as musicians play at vigil in Lurgan in memory of murdered teacher

More than 100 people attended an emotional vigil in Lurgan in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy.

Ashling (23) was murdered while out for a run on the Grand Canal near her home in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Her murder sent waves of horror and anger across Ireland, north and south as well as across the world.

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The vigil in her memory was attended by people across the community with local musicians sharing tunes and songs.

Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old primary school teacher, who was killed on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur, Co Offaly

St Enda’s Camogie Club Chairperson Erin McArdle told the crowd: “My name is Erin. I run. I go for a walk. I play camogie. I am a woman just like Ashling.

“Tullamore is about the same size of a town as Lurgan or Portadown. It could have happened here.

“I need to feel safe. You need to feel safe. We all need to feel safe.”

“As the chairperson of St Enda’s Camogie Club in Derrymacash, I speak on behalf of the club when I say we were all horrified by Ashling’s death. How everything said and written about her, Ashling was a beautiful person inside and out with such a great balance of life with her profession as a primary school teacher, a talented musicians and a recognised sports woman who had a smile for everyone. A complete all rounder doing so much good for society.

St Enda’s Camogie Club, Derrymacash,, Chairperson Erin McArdle who spoke at a vigil in Lurgan, Co Armagh in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy from Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo courtesty of Martin Lavery.

“No words can bring her back but we offer our heartfelt sympathy, support and prayers to Ashling’s family and friends, her colleagues and her pupils. Thank you for being here today and showing your support for Ashling and her loved ones. May she rest in peace.”

Bernadette from Comhaltas Clanbrassil Branch, Lurgan, who read a poem about Ashling Murphy, said: “Like everyone here we were so moved this week by the loss of such a beautiful young woman, struck down in her prime. I didn’t know her personally but I recognised her. A young woman, proud of her culture, camogie player, fiddle player, teacher and loved by a lot of people.”

Members of Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club attended wearing club colours to show their support.

Cllr Declan McAlinden, who organised the vigil, said: “As a father I have struggled these last few days, trying to comprehend how someone could do such a thing to a beautiful, talented young woman who had so much to live for.

More than 100 people attended a vigil in Lurgan, Co Armagh in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy from Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo courtesty of Martin Lavery.

“As a father I want the streets to be safe for my own daughter, day and night.

“As a father of three sons I hope I have raised them to be strong men, to stand up against violence to women.

“We can and must do more to protect our daughters, our wives, our sisters and our friends. This is not how it should be.

“St. Enda’s Camogie Club, Derrymacash and Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club have come together, along with Comhaltas Clanbrassil Branch - Lurgan.

Paying respects at a vigil in Lurgan, Co Armagh on Sunday in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy from Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Martin Lavery.

“This is the least we can do, we cannot allow Ashling’s name to be forgotten, likewise those women in our society need to know there is support out there for you, you do not have to suffer.”

If you would like to watch the vigil, check out Martin Lavery’s YouTube post here www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEZ165kBgL4

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Please read: Ashling Murphy: Book of Condolences in tribute to murdered teacher opened by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council

Lighting a candle at a vigil in Lurgan, Co Armagh on Sunday in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy from Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Martin Lavery.
Lighting a candle at a vigil in Lurgan, Co Armagh on Sunday in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy from Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Martin Lavery.
Candles and flowers laid in Lurgan town centre at a vigil on Sunday in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy from Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Martin Lavery.
Lighting a candle at a vigil in Lurgan, Co Armagh on Sunday in memory of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy from Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Martin Lavery.