THE Taoiseach yesterday vowed to take a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women after the murder of Ashling Murphy shocked Ireland and said: “Enough is enough.”
But Michael Martin described attacks on women as a problem that only society as a whole can solve.
The leader of Fianna Fail spoke during the Dail the day after the funeral of his beloved teacher Ashling.
The 23-year-old died while jogging by the canal in Cappincur, Tullamore, Co Offaly just before 4pm last Wednesday.
Mr Martin – who attended Ashling’s heartbreaking funeral – described her death as a “dark moment in Irish history”.
“Our first and necessary response to Ashling’s death was clear, we want and need a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women,” he said. And this will require all of us, as a society, to commit to lasting change.”
He added: “The horrific and tragic death of Ashling Murphy has touched everyone.
“It has forged our national resolve to bring about change in this area. We can and must do it. Enough is enough.”
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Mr. Martin said Justice Minister Helen McEntee had spearheaded the work “on a new Government-wide strategy to combat domestic, sexual, gender-based violence”.
Taoiseach added: “This project has been underway for the past 12 months and it is coming to a conclusion.
“The basic objective of this strategy echoes much of what has been requested in recent days: zero tolerance for violence against women.”
Mr Martin said the Government was developing a new strategy structured around four pillars – prevention, protection, prosecution and coordination policies.
‘NEEDED SEA CHANGE’
“The strategy has been developed in collaboration with those involved in protecting and supporting women to ensure it is targeted, comprehensive and effective in achieving all of its stated goals,” he said. suggest.
“To help ensure its focus is where it really needs to be, in the coming weeks, Secretary McEntee will invite feedback through a targeted public consultation on the final draft of the strategy.
“The final strategy is expected to be presented to the Government in early March.”
And Mr Martin says a “major change in culture and attitudes in society” is now needed.
He told TDs: “As men, we need to listen to women and we need to hear what they are saying. Misogyny is simply unacceptable, and it needs to be removed from our society.
“We all know there is no single solution to end domestic, sexual and gender violence. Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach with genuine engagement and partnerships.
“We need adequate support and services across the country, the right legislation, an effective policy response, and the cultural shift in our society.
“I can assure you that this Government is working to achieve these goals, and our focus is fixed.
“The government also understands that resources are fundamental to solving this problem.
“As we demonstrated in Budget 2022 and as we will continue to demonstrate, this effort will be appropriately resourced.”
‘STAND IN SOLIDARITY AND ANGER’
Attorney General McEntee, who was also present at Tuesday’s funeral, said she shed tears this week for Ashling and other women and girls who have been taken from us in recent years .
“This week, I am not only alone in this House for crying over Ashling, but also for Urantetseg Tserendorj and Jastine Valdez, Ana Kriegel and Nadine Lott, and so many others,” she said.
“That is why we are united and angry, but also in quiet determination.
“That is why we must all work together to achieve the common goal of zero tolerance for violence and abuse against women.
“I have made this a priority since becoming Justice Minister, but I know more needs to be done.
“Solutions will not only come from the law, just as we cannot tackle domestic, sexual and gender violence by treating it simply as a criminal justice issue. What is needed is cultural and social change.
“We will fail if we allow some men with such unhealthy attitudes towards women to commit crimes and infiltrate our criminal justice system.
“As Taoiseach said, I am leading the development of a third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender violence.
“We’ve been working on this strategy for a year, and we’ve been listening to those in the field working on the front lines. And I am so grateful for their work, their support and their contributions. We listened to the victims and survivors.
“It will have input from across Government – such as the Ministry of Equality, Education, Higher Education, Housing, Social Protection, Transport and others.
“It will be underpinned by clear actions, a reform agenda and strong accountability mechanisms. It will be as resourced as it should be. Its goal is clear: zero tolerance for violence and abuse against women”.
MALE VIOLATION IS ‘ENDEMIC’
Parties from across the political divide have demanded changes in the way we treat violence against women in the wake of Ashling’s murder.
Mary Lou McDonald, leader of Sinn Fein, said: “Ashling Murphy is not the first woman to die in an attack. Others have met violent deaths at work, home, day and in the dark.
“The grief and anger that has flowed across the land is a powerful expression of solidarity with the Murphy family, who are now facing unimaginable pain as they have to accept the life they are living in. no Ashling.
“The streams of stories, personal experiences and traumatic stories that pervade our waves are clear proof that male violence against women, harassment of women, degradation of women, is endemic, pervasive and ever present in Irish life.”
Deputy Minister Dublin added: “We are now at a crossroads, and there is a choice to make. We must choose to act.
“United, let’s act persistently to end the violence, the threat of violence, the fear of violence that is affecting the lives of women and girls, we must make that choice and We must have that intention.”
‘MOMENT FOR UNITY’
And Ms. McDonald told Taoiseach: “This is not a time for partisan politics, this is not a time for division. This is the time for unity.
“Because the danger is, when the shock subsides, when the pain, when the initial pain subsides, when the headlines are written, when the camera turns away and that impoverished family is left with only horror. on their loss, the real test will be. what we do in a year. ”
Labor leader Alan Kelly said the “terrible tragedy” had shaken the entire country, adding: “The word watershed is often used here for many different things. This must be a watershed moment. ”
People Before Profit TD Brid Smith said violence against women “is a pervasive experience and we need to appreciate the pervasiveness of oppression of women”.
She said the current provision of refuge for women facing domestic violence is not good enough.
Ms. Smith called on Taoiseach for the Government to back the Irish Sex Education Reform Bill, which had been left in the legislative system for several years.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8234306/taoiseach-zero-tolerance-approach-violence-women-ashling-murphy/ Taoiseach vows to take a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women in the wake of Ashling Murphy’s murder