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18th Jan 2022

Ashling Murphy remembered as large crowds gather for funeral

Jade Hayden

Ashling is laid to rest today.

Ashling Murphy has been remembered as a woman who “gave only joy and love.”

The funeral of the 23-year-old schoolteacher took place in Co. Offaly today, following her tragic passing last week. 

The service took place in St Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus, Co. Offaly on Tuesday morning. During the mass, parish priest Fr Michael Meade said that Ashling’s family, friends, and boyfriend “have been robbed of your most precious gift – a gift that gave only joy and love, fun and laughter to many beyond your family.”

“We give thanks for the privilege of sharing in this most wonderful gift of Ashling Murphy. Today we share our love, our grief, our faith and our comfort with the Murphy and Leonard families,” he said.

“The issues raised in many ways and by many voices since this horrible act of violence will, we pray, continue to evolve and bring the change we need so much, to simply give and show respect.”

Bishop Tom Deenihan later spoke of the nationwide reaction to Ashling’s passing, and the “nightmare” the past few days have been for her friends and family.

“A depraved act of violence which deprived a kind, talented, loved and admired young woman of her life has since united the country in grief and support,” he said. “We all know that no individual should die like Ashling and no family should suffer like Ashling’s.

“Respect is an old-fashioned word but it is an important one. Respect was missing last Wednesday but it has re-emerged here all the stronger. Let us respect each other.”

Throughout the service, musicians played a selection of traditional music and hymns in memory of Ashling. Ashling’s friends also paid tribute to the school teacher with prayers of the faithful throughout the mass.

Ashling was laid to rest today at St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus, Co. Offaly. The service was live streamed and broadcast on RTÉ One. Ashling will be laid to rest in Lowertown cemetery following the service.

Gardaí are continuing their inquiries into the murder of the 23-year-old school teacher. Ashling was killed while going for a run in Tullamore last week. Gardaí inquiries are at the moment concerning a man who is in hospital.

They are still appealing for information from anyone who saw a man “dressed in black tracksuit top [with] no hood, black tracksuit bottoms with a large white stripe or white writing on the side and black runners” in the Tullamore area last Wednesday.