Ashling Murphy: Teacher’s killing a ‘depraved act of violence’
The family of Ashling Murphy has been robbed of their “most precious gift”, a priest has said at the funeral of the murdered Irish teacher. The 23-year-old was killed on the banks of the Grand Canal outside Tullamore in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday afternoon.
The family of Ashling Murphy has been robbed of their “most precious gift”, a priest has said at the funeral of the murdered Irish teacher.
The 23-year-old was killed on the banks of the Grand Canal outside Tullamore in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday afternoon.
A “depraved act of violence” has united the country in grief and support, mourners were also told.
Officers investigating her killing say significant progress is being made.
It is understood the primary school teacher and musician was out exercising when she was attacked.
Mourners lined the street outside St Brigid’s Church, Mount Bolus, in rural County Offaly for the funeral Mass, which was attended by Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach (Irish PM) Micheál Martin.
Ms Murphy’s sister Amy, centre, and mother Kathleen, at her funeral
Parish priest Fr Michael Meade, chief celebrant, told mourners that some symbols from Ashling’s life were being presented in the church, including a musical instrument, a book to reflect her teaching career, and a GAA jersey.
He told mourners that the family’s “darkness is deep” and their “pain raw and fierce”.
“Together we grieve, we pray, we hurt – this is the heavy price we pay for love,” he said.
He added Ms Murphy’s family had been robbed “of a gift that gave only joy and love, fun and laughter to many beyond your family”.
Fr Meade called for the community not to be afraid to make “change for what only is good” in their lives and paid tribute to Ashling’s care for her family, friends and pupils.
“That same love and joy was not kept on a shelf or wrapped up – it was freely given and shared through music, through sport, through her vocation as a teacher,” he said.
“Today we give thanks for the privilege of sharing in this most wonderful gift of Ashling Murphy.”
Ashling Murphy was a teacher and talented traditional musician
Bishop of Meath Tom Deenihan said the crime had also questions of “ourselves and of society”.
“It has questioned our attitudes and, particularly, our attitudes towards women and it has questioned our values and our morality,” he said.
“Whether those questions will be addressed or passed over remains to be seen but we cannot allow such violence and disregard for both human life and bodily integrity take root in our time and culture.”
Violence against women had been highlighted by Pope Francis as an “insult to God” two weeks before Ms Murphy’s murder, the bishop added.
Musicians performed at Ms Murphy’s funeral
Ashling’s cousin Rachel O’Shea read a prayer asking “that the many vigils that took place in memory of Ashling, mark the beginning of an end to violence against women”.
A talented musician, Ms Murphy was a former pupil of Sacred Heart School in Tullamore and she taught in the nearby Durrow National School.