Ryan Tubridy has said the vigils taking place for Ashling Murphy across the country “reflect the horror of a nation”.
The 23-year-old was jogging along the Royal Canal in Tullamore, Co. Offaly on Wednesday afternoon when she was murdered in broad daylight.
Over the next few days, thousands of people will attend vigils across Ireland to pay their respects to Ashling, who was a beloved primary school teacher.
Speaking on his RTÉ Radio 1 show this morning, Ryan said: “Like everybody I am looking at the newspapers today with a heavy heart.”
“Today I can give you some thoughts I suppose as I look at paper after paper, article after article, photograph after photograph of Ashling Murphy…”
“I was listening to a lot of radio and a lot of callers on Liveline and news reports from Tullamore and it just got more and more difficult as the day went on to try and comprehend what was happening.”
“And to try and walk not a mile but even a couple of centimetres in the shoes of the Murphy family and what they might be waking up to this morning with the full realisation of what’s happened and what they’ve been robbed of,” he said.
“The words that keep jumping out are that beautiful expression that was used, ‘shining light’ – she was a shining light, and every picture I see of Ashling Murphy suggests she was just that radiant and hopeful and excited about life.”
Ryan continued: “She had the world at her feet, she was loved by her students, she was admired by the traditional music players that she played with, she was adored by her family, she was also appreciated by friends and neighbours.”
“She was obviously an exceptional young person and nothing about what happened to her is right, in broad daylight, and we have vigils today reflecting the horror of a nation.”
“And we have vigils today reflecting fear, that’s legitimate too, and we have conversations going on about what exactly happened, why it happened and why we’re looking at these headlines this morning.”
“As I was looking at this story yesterday and the fact that Ashling was 23-years-old, it can only lead you to feel a certain ownership or kinship to the Murphy family even though I’ve never met them and don’t know them at all but your heart breaks.
“Today, Ashling Murphy is all of our daughters, all of our sisters, all of our sisters, all of our friends and all of our thoughts are with her family this morning.”
“It’s an unimaginable day of mourning in Tullamore and in Offaly and on the island of Ireland. And that is the truth of it.”
Ryan also revealed there will be a tribute to Ashling on tonight’s Late Late Show.
On Friday night, the programme will host a special TradFest music session with some of the country’s most-talented Irish musicians.
The TV presenter said: “We are opening the Late Late Show tonight with a big Trad session, and given Ashling Murphy’s hobbies and what she likes to do in terms of the trad community it would be remiss of us not to mark that this evening.”