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Muireann O’Connell speaks out on the murder of Ashling Murphy: ‘Violence against women is a pandemic’

Muireann O’Connell has spoken out on the murder of Ashling Murphy.

The 23-year-old woman was brutally attacked on a popular jogging route along the Grand Canal in Tullamore at around 4pm on Wednesday.

A man in his 40s has been arrested in connection with the incident, and was being questioned last night on suspicion of her murder.

Ms Murphy, who worked as a primary school teacher, was well known in Tullamore, and her murder has shocked locals in the area as it happened in broad daylight.

Her death has once again highlighted the dangers women face on a daily basis, whether they’re going for a jog, or simply popping to the shop.

Speaking on Ireland AM this morning, Muireann said: “Women walk home with keys in their hands to make sure they’re okay. They put in earphones with nothing on so as that they’re aware of their surroundings and they could hear someone coming up to them.”

“They don’t walk alone, they get taxis home, they’ve got 999 on their phone ready to press call in case something happens. They share taxis and go out of their way, they cross the road, they’re in well-lit areas. I don’t know what else can be said about this.”

“Violence against women perpetrated by men is a pandemic, and it doesn’t feel like we’re doing anything about it,” the Limerick native added.

“We only need to talk about Jastine Valdez, Ana Kriégel, Elaine O’Hara. The numbers, the amount of women that have been killed, 242 since 1996 by men in just this country, and 37 women are killed around the world every single day by a partner or a family member.”

“It can’t be on the women anymore. ‘What are you wearing? What are you doing? Why were you out alone?’ Why can’t I walk on the streets?”

“Last week, we saw two men get bail, €200 bail, for an attack on a 17-year-old girl, Alanna Quinn Idris. It’s not good enough anymore. We have to take this seriously.”

“This is not a woman’s issue, and I know it’s not all men, but it is happening, and we have to do something about teaching the boys and men in our society.”

Gardaí are appealing for people with information to come forward, particularly anyone who was in the Cappincur/canal walk area of Tullamore before 4pm on Wednesday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tullamore garda station on 057 932 7600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.


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