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‘You have been robbed of your most precious gift’: Funeral of Ashling Murphy takes place

HEARTFELT TRIBUTES were paid to Ashling Murphy at her burial in Offaly today.

The murder of a 23-year-old teacher out for a run by the canal in Tullamore last week has shocked, grieved, and angered the country.

Hundreds of mourners lined Mount Bolus’ main street to pay their respects to Ashling, including her former Durrow National School students who held roses and photos of their teacher.

Ministers Catherine Martin, Norma Foley, and Pippa Hackett were also present.

Symbols of Ashling’s life were placed on the altar at St Brigid’s. Ella Flaherty, a childhood friend of Ashling’s, sung the hymns You Are Mine and I Watch the Sunrise during the funeral.

“You have been robbed of your most precious gift – a gift that brought pleasure and love, fun and laughter to many beyond your family,” said Fr Michael Meade, parish priest of Kilcormac and Killoughney.

To simply provide and show respect, he said, “issues expressed in many ways and by many voices since this horrendous act of violence invaded all our lives will continue to evolve,” he said.

Now we’re in another home where Ashling’s family joined her broader family in prayer. Her faith began with baptism here in Cully, and bloomed into a life of love, hope, and trust.
That love and joy was freely given and shared through music, sport, and her profession as a teacher. We share our love, our sadness, our faith, and our comfort with the Murphy and Leonard families today.
Bishop Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, also sent words of sympathy to Ashling’s family and friends, characterising the days following her death as “a nightmare.”

Walking in the sunshine on a mild January afternoon should bring pleasant thoughts of spring and summer. That was not the case. In mourning and support, the country has rallied around a terrible act of violence that took a young woman’s life.

The crime “raised issues of ourselves and society,” he said.

It has questioned our morals and morality, especially our views towards women. Whatever happens, we cannot allow such violence and contempt for human life and bodily integrity to take root in our time and culture.

“We all know that no one should die or suffer like Ashling’s family. Respect is a quaint yet vital term. Respect was absent last Wednesday, but it has returned stronger. Respect one another,” he urged.

He praised Ashling, her family, friends, and students. “Their loss and suffering must be recognised and supported. “Their sadness and loss will follow us into our lives,” he warned.

He added the “outpouring of love and grief that we have all seen” must be a ray of brightness in last week’s tragedy.

It was manifested at the many vigils, by people who quietly and discreetly supplied refreshments, stewarding, and whatever support they could during the previous few days. Community matters and works. Community is required to fight such horrors, and it will be required in the coming weeks.
“We bury Ashling today. We bury a woman who made the most of her short life, who nurtured her abilities, reached out to others, made a difference, brought joy, and was loved.

Ashling is buried in Lowertown Cemetery. Condolences can be sent to Ashling’s family via RIP.ie or Lawless Funerals.

“Our dear colleague” and “our brilliant light”, said Durrow National School this morning.

The school uploaded a video of Ashling playing the violin and colleagues paying respect.

Students and teachers were encouraged to observe a moment of silence this morning in her remembrance. Schools across the country were silent.

Thousands attended vigils and tributes in previous days, and hundreds gathered again yesterday.

He praised Ashling’s “short but brilliant and generous life” on Friday.

“I talked to Ashling’s family to express, on behalf of the Irish people and Sabina and myself as parents, my profound sadness and sorrow for her tragic death, but especially for her mother Kathleen, father Raymond, sister Amy and brother Cathal,” President Higgins stated.

“I tried to emphasise how many parents, families, and indeed all Irish people are thinking of the Murphy family at this difficult time. We all mourn Ashling’s passing, but her family’s grief is indescribable.

signify her love of sports, and a school book her work as a teacher.