She was simply going for a run.
A phrase, after which a hashtag, that was compelled into the Irish nationwide lexicon in January 2022 with the homicide of yet one more vivid younger girl.
The savage killing in broad daylight of effervescent trainer Ashling Murphy, as she jogged alongside the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, led to a interval of nationwide soul-searching that echoed the fallout from Sarah Everard’s homicide within the UK a 12 months earlier. Ms Everard had simply been strolling dwelling.
The parallels have been clear. People took to the streets, social media was dominated for days by the story. Male violence in opposition to girls “had to stop”, however nobody appeared certain the right way to arrive at that end result. Anger tinged with helplessness.
Hundreds of individuals attended a vigil in Camden, north London to pay tribute to Ms Murphy, who was killed simply three months after Wayne Couzens was jailed for all times for the rape, kidnap and homicide of Sarah Everard.
Across Ireland, hundreds turned out at rallies and vigils.
Traditional Irish music performed softly at a tearful candlelit vigil in Tullamore. Ms Murphy had been a gifted fiddle participant.
Her father Ray performed her favorite track When You Were Sweet Sixteen on the banjo.
“She was just the sweetest girl,” he mentioned. “A little angel… a brilliant girl in every sense of the word.”
His little angel was stabbed 11 instances within the neck in broad daylight in her hometown. Nobody will ever actually know why.
Ms Murphy’s voicebox was severed. Her lengthy blonde hair was soaked in her blood – twigs and brambles entangled inside.
The Gardai, Ireland’s police service, vowed to “leave no stone unturned” in bringing the killer to justice.
Today’s conviction of 33-year-old Slovakian man Jozef Puska fulfils that vow and brings some closure to the murder of Ms Murphy.
It will do little to make girls throughout Ireland really feel any safer.
“Male violence against women and girls needs to stop now,” declared Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill within the wake of Ms Murphy’s demise.
That was a futile want.
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The girls killed since Ms Murphy’s demise
Some 18 girls have been killed violently in Ireland since Ms Murphy’s demise, in keeping with the Femicide Watch run by the charity Women’s Aid.
They should not anonymous statistics.
Sandra Boyd, Mary (Maura) Bergin, Ruth Lohse, Louise Mucknell, Lisa Thompson, Larisa Serban, Miriam Burns, Lisa Cash, Ioana Mihaela Pacala, Emma McCrory, Sharon Crean, Bruna Fonseca, Maud Coffey, Geila Ibram, Catherine Henry, Anna Mooney, Deepa Dinamani and Lorna Woodnutt Kearney.
All useless. All have been killed violently.
It’s a grim irony that Lorna Kearney – the newest addition to the record – was additionally killed in Tullamore, like Ms Murphy.
That was in September. A teenage boy was charged together with her homicide final month.
Ireland’s ‘vanishing triangle’
It’s one other widely-publicised irony that Ms Murphy was killed on a stretch of the Grand Canal which is called Fiona’s Way after one other native girl, Fiona Pender, who went lacking in 1996.
Six girls have disappeared in 5 years from an space referred to as Ireland’s “vanishing triangle” – and none have ever been discovered.
It’s virtually as if the femicides are piling up, overlapping one another in Venn diagrams of devastation and distress.
Every single girl could be prey
The angst at Ms Murphy’s demise advanced right into a nationwide reckoning over the violence perpetrated in opposition to girls, and have become particularly fiery on social media boards.
Amid the anger, a story pitted males in opposition to girls.
“Not all men” was the retort from outraged social media customers who’ve by no means needed to clutch keys between their fingers or share a reside location for a brief stroll dwelling at nighttime.
The easy fact is that in fact not all males are evil predators. But each single girl could be prey.
And the virtually intangible risk of violence influences every day selections that girls take, and could be mirrored in probably the most mundane of how.
Like many runners, Ms Murphy wore a Fitbit. It confirmed her train beginning at 2.51pm that day alongside the canal.
By 3.21pm, the watch was displaying “erratic, violent movements”.
At 3.31pm, the FitBit was not recording any heartbeat for Ms Murphy.
Femicide caught on Fitbit.
She was simply going for a run. She did not even final an hour.