Sinn Féin TD Louise Reilly has said made an emotional appeal for change in the wake of the murder of Ashling Murphy, telling Newstalk that she is “sick of” the amount of violence and harassment women endure.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m actually sick of this,” Deputy Reilly told The Anton Savage Show.
“I’m coming in here this morning thinking, what is the first time it ever happened to me? I think I was about 11 years of age and a grown man walked past me, he winked at me and he said, ‘Huh, you’ll be ready for a bra soon.’
“I was 11. I was eight when I went on my first Take Back The Night march with my mother and we chanted, ‘No matter what we say or where we go, Yes means Yes and No means No.’
“Forty years later, I can tell you and I know that Ailbhe will agree with me, we’re sick of highlighting it.
“We want change,” she concluded.
Sinn Féin plan on introducing legislation that would give victims of domestic violence a right to time off and compel the Department of An Taoiseach to be more involved in the issue:
“On Wednesday next, Sinn Féin are using our private member’s time to bring forward a Private Member’s Bill,” Deputy Reilly said.
“And one of the things… that we called for is the establishment of a sexual and gender based violence policy and service implementation unit within the Department of An Taoiseach.
“So that’s the leadership there, that’s also the Taoiseach and the Taoiseach’s office, and all of the power that comes with that, driving this. So that’s putting it at the top of the agenda and saying, ‘This is important.’
“That sends a very important message out.
“The next week, my own piece of legislation on paid leave for victims and survivors of domestic violence is going to be in front of the Children and Equalities Committee. So we’re hoping to get that through.
“But with the greatest respect to [Justice Minister] Helen McEntee - I know she’s very good on this issue - but I actually think we need to point the whole of Government in this direction.
"And the only real way to do that is to cite this unit within the Department of An Taoiseach.”
On Friday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said men had to take a “lead role” in making women feel safer:
“I think it is of huge importance that we do everything we possibly can in society to protect women and make women feel safe," An Taoiseach told Dublin Live while at the vigil for Ashling outside Leinster House.
“And that’s going to take a lot of effort in overall society. An approach we will publishing in the next while a national strategy on this issue in terms of developing a zero tolerance for violence against women.
“Men must take a lead role in this, in changing the culture that’s evident in terms of undermining women, in terms of perpetuating violence on women and that’s the direction we have to go."
Main image: Ashling Murphy. Picture by: RIP.ie