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'Shock, grief, anger' - President Higgins speaks with Ashling Murphy's family

He is calling on people to reflect on what needs to be done to eliminate violence against women
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.48 14 Jan 2022


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'Shock, grief, anger' - Presid...

'Shock, grief, anger' - President Higgins speaks with Ashling Murphy's family

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.48 14 Jan 2022


Share this article


President Michael D Higgins has spoken to Ashling Murphy's family.

He says the loss of Ashling is a loss to all of us, but to her family it is beyond description.

The President says people are expressing "shock, grief, anger and upset" at the "horrific murder of Ashling Murphy".

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"This morning I spoke to Ashling’s family to convey, as president on behalf of the people of Ireland, and on behalf of Sabina and myself as parents, my profound sympathy and sorrow and sense of loss that her tragic death has meant to so many, but what in particular it must mean to her mother Kathleen, father Raymond, sister Amy and brother Cathal.

"I sought to convey a sense of how so many parents, families, indeed all of the people of Ireland are thinking of the Murphy family at this very sad time.

"The loss of Ashling is a loss to all of us, but to her family it is beyond description", President Higgins says.

A large crowd outside Dáil Eireann in Dublin as part of a vigil for Ashling Murphy. A large crowd outside Dáil Eireann in Dublin as part of a vigil for Ashling Murphy. Picture by: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

He says the outpouring of grief shows "how we have all been very touched".

And he says it is "exemplary for young and old to read of all Ashling's accomplishments during her short but brilliant and generous life."

"As a young, talented and enthusiastic teacher she had already made such a positive impact on her young students and colleagues at school.

"To hear them speak of her is such a testament to the joy of sharing, be it in teaching, music or sport, that she conveyed in a way which must have brought much joy to all. She represented the best of her generation, in a life they will recall as inspirational."

Ashling Murphy is seen in this undated photo Ashling Murphy is seen in this undated photo. Picture by: rip.ie

And the President says we should reflect on what needs to change.

"It is of crucial importance that we take this opportunity, as so many people have already done in the short time since Ashling’s death, to reflect on what needs to be done to eliminate violence against women in all its aspects from our society, and how that work can neither be postponed nor begin too early.

"May I suggest to all our people to reflect on all of our actions and attitudes - and indeed those we may have been leaving unchallenged amongst those whom we know - and do all we can to ensure that the society we live in is one where all of our citizens are free to live their lives, participate fully, in an atmosphere that is unencumbered by risks for their safety.

He adds: "Let us respond to this moment of Ashling's death by committing to the creation of a kinder, more compassionate and empathetic society for all, one that will seek to eliminate all threats of violence against any of our citizens, and commit in particular to bringing an end, at home and abroad, to violence against women in any of its forms".

Main image: President Michael D Higgins is seen in Co Wicklow in October 2021. Picture by: Damien Eagers / RollingNews.ie

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