Murder of young teacher unites Ireland in ‘solidarity and malice’


The murder of 23-year-old teacher Ashling Murphy has “united the country in solidarity and rebellion”, the Irish premier has said.

His remarks came as Ireland’s deputy premier said society faced an “epidemic of violence against women”, with senior politicians promising that the full resources of the Irish police are available to bring the killer to justice.

Gardai continues to search for the killer of the young teacher, who was found dead on Wednesday after running down the banks of the Grand Canal in Offaly, Tullamore.

Taoiseach Michael Martin (PA) , PA Wire

Taoiseach Michael Martin said on Friday: “It is a very poignant and very sad moment in the affairs of our country when a young talented musician violently took his life a few days ago, and our hearts and minds are with the Murphy family.” To the community, to his family and friends, and especially to the young students, who will undoubtedly be looking forward to Ashling’s presence in the classroom, teaching music or sports as well as a comprehensive curriculum.

“It has always been my view that a national schoolteacher, from the inception of the state, has been the foundation upon which our society was built.

“And, in many ways, Ashling Murphy best embodies and represents that tradition of national teaching.

“I think that has united the country in solidarity and hatred over what has happened.”

He added: “No stone will be left unturned to complete this investigation and bring justice to the person responsible for it.”

The Taoiseach said a new national strategy currently being developed to tackle sexual, domestic and gender-based violence in Ireland would adopt a “zero-tolerance” approach.

“There should be a broader social outlook and a realization that there should be zero tolerance for any form of violence,” he said.

Mr Martin said he had spoken to the Murphy family.

“I wanted to, like everyone else across the country, on behalf of the people, express our solidarity with them and with our devastation. The fact that a beautiful young woman has been taken from their lives,” he said.