Ashling Murphy: A call for change to protect women in Ireland

The murder of a 23-year-old teacher in Tullamore, County Offaly has led to calls from across the Republic of Ireland and the UK to do more to keep women safe.

Ashling Murphy was murdered while jogging along the banks of the town’s Grand Canal on the afternoon of January 12. Her death has “united the country in grief and support,” Bishop Tom Deenihan said at her funeral this week, attended by Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Michael Martin.

Murphy’s former students were among the hundreds of mourners that filled the streets outside St Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus.

Thousands of people attended a vigil in memory of the young woman. According to a statement from Gardai earlier this week, the Murphy family is said to be “appreciated and overwhelmed by the support they have received from the nation”. A 31-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Murphy.

Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, said during Tuesday’s ceremony: “We cannot allow violence and disregard for both human life and the integrity of the body to take root in their time and culture. ta.

Murphy’s cousin Rachel O’Shea also read a prayer saying that “the many prayers that take place in Ashling’s memory mark the beginning of an end to violence against women”. Irish Examiner reported.

‘Next step’ from tragedy

“Nearly every major step forward in modern Irish history has been traced back to tragedy,” said imam and chair of the Irish Islamic Integration & Peace Council Dr Umar al-Qadri in Irish Times. “Tragedy has once again provided us with a focus and sense of purpose for social change that goodwill alone cannot.”

Addressing parliament this week, Taoiseach said the government’s response was “very clear”, paper. “We want and need a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women and this will require all of us, as a society, to commit to lasting change.”

The Department of Justice has been working for the past 12 months on a new domestic, sexual and gender violence strategy led by Attorney General, Helen McEntee.

McEntee has said that new criminal charges for stalking and non-fatal strangulation will be included in a bill to be set before Easter. Speaking to the Daily newspaper this week, she said the changes to the existing law would “make it clearer and stronger”.

She hopes that these changes will “encourage victims to come forward and report what happened to them”. But she admits that despite this progress, safety issues still exist: “I cannot stand here today and say that no woman will ever suffer at the hands of a man. you tonight”.

ONE survey of the European Union in 2014 reported that one in four women in Ireland had experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. pandemic has increased.

The need to increase support for women during the pandemic has highlighted a number of positive points of progress. Hipe Crisis Network Ireland’s chief executive, Cliona Saidlear, told BBC News NI that the pandemic allows collaboration “within the statutory and NGO sector”, working “really closely” to respond to the pandemic. crisis.

“What we learned there was that it had to be a collaborative effort,” she continued. And while it is important to have a ‘checklist’ of changes with agencies and professions”, BBC, the “bigger picture” also needs to be addressed.

Dr Saidlear continued: “We need to think big – because what we’re really doing here is cultural transformation, we’re trying to turn our entire culture out of habit. generations into something new.

Women’s Aid Ireland chief executive Sarah Benson told the broadcaster that Murphy’s murder “has truly shaken every woman and every teenage girl”, but now feels “shocking” force” to change.

“We must focus on the behaviors and attitudes of abusers to eradicate them and work with men as allies to model respectful and healthy behaviour.” Ashling Murphy: A call for change to protect women in Ireland

Fry Electronics Team

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