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Thousands of tearful people attended the emotional vigil for Ashling Murphy, who was killed by a stranger while jogging.

Thousands of mourners attended an emotional vigil for Ashling Murphy, who was killed by a stranger while she was jogging.

They descended on Town Park on the edge of Tullamore, Ireland, on Friday night, pledging to send “solidarity and support” to the Murphy family.

Ashling Murphy's body was found along the Grand Canal, Tullamore, Ireland, on Wednesday

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Ashling Murphy’s body was found along the Grand Canal, Tullamore, Ireland, on WednesdayCredit: PA
Ashling's mother, father and sister Amy comfort each other as they attend the candlelight ceremony

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Ashling’s mother, father and sister Amy comfort each other as they attend the candlelight ceremonyCredit: Getty

Irish police are still searching for the 23-year-old killer who was found dead on Wednesday after jogging on the banks of the Grand Canal in the town of Co Offaly.

Transparent an hour-long vigil, people cried, clutched candles, and quietly clapped their hands as prayers were said and music played.

As the lights dimmed, traditional Irish music – played by friends and former teachers of Ashling’s – became the focal point of the ceremony.

Attracta Brady, the young girl’s first fiddle teacher, played with the others as they performed two songs that Ashling had performed with her craft group.

She describes her patron as a “wonderful musician”.

Mrs Brady said: “She was the most beautiful girl inside and out.

“She’s a parent’s dream. She’s everything you want in a daughter. She’s righteous, she’s honest, she’s trustworthy.

“Sometimes she’s quirky and a little cheeky with the loveliest smile and she’ll just ignore it because she has this beautiful sparkling smile.

“She never had a bad sense of humour, she was always laughing and she absolutely loved her mischief.

“Her parents just told me yesterday that she never had to be asked to exercise. She was so bright and full of energy and everyone loved her.”

Prayers were offered for Ashling’s family, friends and students as well as for all the women who experienced violence.

A local priest, Father Joe Gallagher, said the prayer before calling for a minute of silence.

He told the gathering: “We remember her grieving family, her colleagues at work, in music, in sports, in friendships, and her young students in first grade who loved each other. his teacher.

“This is a time of unspeakable grief. We need to be together. We need to support each other during this dark time.

“We stand together, in solidarity with groups across our country, and indeed more so, in solidarity with women who fear and are vulnerable to violence. United in grief, angry, in shock.

“In this dark night, we want to hold the light in our hands, standing together to share our tears and deep grief. Time to pray, to reflect, to listen. and stay together.”

The women at the vigil shared their anger and frustration.

Tullamore local Roslyn Kavanagh said: “I feel that this shouldn’t be happening in society. And as a woman, I’ve felt in many places, unsafe and vulnerable and as a woman. , I shouldn’t feel that way.”

Roslyn’s friend, Chloe Galvin, said: “I’m also a young woman in my 20s. I’ve walked that canal many times alone, with friends and family. There’s something you never think of. to when out in daylight: is someone going to attack me?

“We were taught as young women, in the evenings you stay with your friends. You never leave them, you text them to make sure they get home safe. Now. We will do it even during the day.

“Now we have a plan at work where we’ll all walk each other out to the car and make sure everyone’s okay, and have a group chat (asking), ‘Are you okay going home?’

“It shouldn’t be. The reason why I’m here is that it’s time for women to take a stand and go, ‘No more, we’re done’.”

“We must be treated equally with men.”

Ashling’s grieving parents Kathleen and Ray, along with sister Amy and brother Cathal, linked arms as they attended a separate evening candlelit vigil near where the teacher was killed.

In memory of his youngest daughter, Ray played her favorite song, When You Were Sweet Sixteen, on the banjo.

The talented musician, who used to work at Durrow National School, was exercising along a famous route when she was targeted.

Police believe she died in an unprovoked and random attack.

Police last night release a man they questioned her death and said he was no more considered a suspect.

Ashling's students also pay their respects

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Ashling’s students also pay their respectsCredit: PA
Thousands of mourners flock to Park Town

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Thousands of mourners flock to Park TownCredit: PA

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17330479/thousands-participate-in-ashling-murphy-vigil-ireland/ Thousands of tearful people attended the emotional vigil for Ashling Murphy, who was killed by a stranger while jogging.

Huynh Nguyen

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