‘It’s a time of sorrow beyond words’ – Thousands join wakes nationwide to remember Ashling Murphy

Joining the crowd in Dublin, what stood out was the wall of silence.

t was so quiet, the sound of the gull wheel top and the pulsating signal of pedestrian lights louder than anything else around.

The golden light of the sun was still shining in the sky, people were silently lighting candles.

“I brought 50 candles and I didn’t bring a lighter”, one woman reprimanded herself quietly.

After 4 pm, the melodious, melodious sounds of traditional music were heard in the air.

It was difficult to tell how many people were on guard. But it looks like there are at least 500 people. Most were young women but there were many people of all ages, men and women too.

Many people had bunches of flowers in their hands. Blue iris, yellow and pink tulips, white chrysanthemums.

“Stop violence against women, a global pandemic”, “The real issue is male violence, not women’s safety,” and simply: “End violence against women.”

It did not escape unnoticed that at 4.10 pm, it was still so bright that the candles could hardly be recognized.

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Flowers came out on vigil to remember Ashling Murphy outside Leinster House this afternoon. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

At 4.20 p.m., the lights of the Leinster House gates flashed on their own. But it was still bright enough to see every detail — heartbreaking because we paused to consider that this was even before Ashling was killed.

By 4.30 pm we could finally see the candles. But by that time of that fateful evening in Tullamore, Ashling was already dead.

We were told how the young school teacher was “an incredibly beautiful person”.

“It shouldn’t have happened to him.”

We heard how happy she was all the time and “if she asked you how you were she meant it.”

We hear Ashling’s boyfriend Ryan is heartbroken.

Prior to the monitoring, the National Council for Women had convened a dedicated cabinet minister with the responsibility of ending gender-based violence and violence against women.

“This is a turning point. We need to end violence against women,” Elbhe Smith told the crowd.

There was loud applause when she said it was time to “stand up with us for all men or good faith and say that’s it.”

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Ivana Besik with Taoiseach Michael Martin to remember Ashling Murphy outside Leinster House this afternoon

In the end, he sang “A Woman’s Heart” dedicated to Ashling and everyone slowly joined the chorus, knowing the sad words, “My heart is low, my heart is as low as only a woman’s heart can hold.” is,” many cried silently.

In Tullamore, local priest Father Joe Gallagher addressed the vigil before observing a minute’s silence.

He told the gathering attended by all the major religious groups in the area: “We remember his heartbroken family, his colleagues at work, in music, in sports, in friendship and his young pupils in the first grade who were his teachers. loved.

“This is a time of sorrow beyond words. We need to be together. We need to support each other in this dark time.

“We stand together, united with groups throughout our country, and indeed beyond that, with women who fear and know the trauma of violence. In grief, in anger, in shock.

“In this dark evening we want to hold a light in our hands, stand in solidarity with each other and share our tears and deep sorrow. Time to pray, reflect, listen, be together.”