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Vigils continue across island of Ireland for Ashling Murphy

Park Run runners in Ireland, the North and beyond held moments of silence

PEOPLE ACROSS THE island of Ireland paused in memory of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy today, with further vigils organised following the murder of the Co Offaly woman.

Gardaí are continuing to hunt for the killer of young teacher, who was found dead after going for a run on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Communities came out across the island, from Cork to Mullingar to continue the vigils today. Hundreds gathered in Inchicore and Drimnagh in Dublin at sunrise today, holding candles and playing traditional music. 

Gardaí said they had made “significant progress” in the investigation but were not releasing details for operational reasons.

It is understood that gardaí have identified a new person of interest, who is currently in hospital, and are waiting to speak to him.

Park Run runners in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and beyond held moments of silence this morning for Ashling.

Hundreds of people also gathered in Cork this morning for a vigil, with more planned in towns and villages across the weekend.

Thousands of people gathered in the late afternoon in Tullamore, Dublin, and Belfast on Friday, as Ireland continues to reel from the murder.

Ashling’s family attended a candlelit vigil near the murder scene yesterday evening.

At the event, her father Ray Murphy paid a poignant tribute to the talented young musician by performing her favourite song on the banjo.

He broke down in tears while playing the final chords of When You Were Sweet Sixteen.

Mr Murphy, along with his wife Kathleen and daughter Amy, walked on the opposite side of the canal to where his daughter was assaulted and died on Wednesday.

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said that the murder has “united the nation in solidarity and revulsion”.

“No stone will be left unturned in terms of bringing this investigation to a completion and to bring the person responsible for this to justice,” he said yesterday.

Politicians have promised that all resources necessary will be provided to the gardai to find the killer.

The death of Ashling has sparked fresh debate about the safety of women in Ireland, with many asking how such an attack could happen in broad daylight.

“We, as a society, need to face up to this. There is an epidemic of violence against women. It’s been going on for millennia, quite frankly,” Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said yesterday.

With additional reporting by Zuzia Whelan.

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