The town of Tullamore gathered together on Friday evening when a vigil was held for Ashling Murphy.
Irish police are continuing their search for the killer of the 23-year-old, who was found dead on Wednesday after running down the banks of the Grand Canal in the town of Offaly.
Thousands made their way to Town Park on the edge of Tullamore, requesting “solidarity and support” to be sent to Ms Murphy’s family.
During the hour-long vigil, people cried, held candles, and clapped silently as prayers were offered and music was played.
As the light dimmed on Friday evening, traditional Irish music – played by friends and Ms. Murphy’s former teachers – became the centerpiece of the service.
Atracta Brady, who was Ms. Murphy’s first fiddle teacher, played with other sad artists.
He described his protégé as “a brilliant musician”.
Ms. Brady tutored Ms. Murphy at Sacred Heart Girls’ Secondary School, where they played together in a traditional musical group.
The musicians played two melodies on vigil that Ms. Murphy would have done with the traditional group.
“She was the most beautiful girl inside and out,” said Ms Brady.
She was bright and energetic and everyone loved her
“She was a parent’s dream. She was everything you want in a daughter. She was honest, she was honest, she was dependable. She was quirky and sometimes even a little cheeky with the sweetest smile And she would get away with it because she had this beautiful twinkling smile.
“She was never in a bad humour, she was always smiling and she absolutely loved her Bella. His parents told me only yesterday that he should never be asked to practice. She was bright and energetic and everyone loved her.”
Prayers went out for Ms. Murphy’s family, friends and students, as well as all the women who suffered violence.
A local priest, Father Joe Gallagher, addressed the vigil before observing a minute’s silence.
He told the gathering, which was 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 first grade who loved his teacher.
“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. United 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.”
The women on the vigil spoke about their anger and fear.
Roslyn Kavanaugh, who works at Tullamore, said: “I think this shouldn’t happen in society at all. And as a woman, I have felt insecure and insecure in many places and as a woman I should not feel that way.”
She said the attack inspired her to share her experiences with her husband.
“He was shocked and annoyed that he knew I felt that way,” she said.
“I think society needs to end this and stop it.”
The reason why I’m here is because it’s time for women to make a stand and go, ‘No more, we’re done’
Roslyn was there with her friend Chloe Galvin, who said: “I, too, am a young lady in my 20s. I’ve walked that canal line several times with my friends and family. It’s something that needs to be done. About you never think about being out in broad daylight: is someone going to attack me?
“We are taught as young women, on a night out, you hang out with your friends. You never leave them, you text them to make sure they get home safely. Now we are expected to do so in broad daylight.
“We now have a plan in the works that we’re all going to drive each other up to our cars and make sure everyone’s okay, and have a group chat (asking, ‘Did you get home right? Huh?’
“It shouldn’t be. The reason why I’m here is because it’s time for women to make a stand and go, ‘No more, our work is done’.
“We have to treat men equally.”
There’s a light that will shine for you, every hour, the sky black or blue
Twins Nora Viret and Johan Viret said their sister was “quite friendly” with Ms Murphy, and added that she was “really helpful and really welcoming” when they left France.
Things have changed in the town since the attack, both of them agreed.
He said he was “crazy all the time now”.
The vigilantes heard a poem written specifically for Ashling by local woman Sinead Cullen, who wrote: “There is a light that will shine for you every hour, the sky black or blue.”
Ms. Murphy’s grieving parents Kathleen and Ray, and her sister Amy and brother Kaithal joined arms as they attended a separate candlelight vigil in the evening near the spot where the teacher was killed.
In tribute to his youngest daughter, Ray Murphy played his favorite song, When You Were Sweet Sixteen on the banjo.