The tragedy of Ashling Murphy's death in Tullamore has shaken the country this week. The senseless murder of a woman in broad daylight has led to a poignant outpouring of grief and anger across the nation over the past few days.
The conversation has turned, as it must, to what men can do to make this country a safer place for women. The simple fact of the matter is that Ashling Murphy is not the first woman to be murdered in this fashion and that it has been proven time and time again that Irish men need to become proactive in making this country a safer place for the women of this country.
Ashling Murphy: We need more Irish sportspeople to speak up
For many Irish men, this message will not quite get through to them. Regrettably, #NotAllMen was once again trending in the wake of the tragic news, when the focus should have been on grieving and mourning a woman killed in horrific circumstances.
After Munster's Champions Cup win over Castres on Friday night, captain Peter O'Mahony spoke in his post-match interview on the death of Ashling Murphy, and extended condolences on behalf of the Munster squad.
Munster captain Peter O'Mahony has offered his condolences on behalf of the squad and everyone at Munster Rugby to the family & friends of Mary Immaculate College graduate Ashling Murphy following her tragic death on Wednesday.
RIP Ashling Murphy. pic.twitter.com/VzjhOYQyly
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) January 14, 2022
Given everything that has happened at home, there is a bit of a sombre mood in the dressing room, after what's gone on.
We weren't able to be part of all the tributes and vigils for Ashling Murphy, at home, [after] the shocking act that happened. Look, she was part of our community in Limerick, having gone to Mary I.
I'm sure everyone's thoughts are with her family and, on behalf of everyone in the dressing room and everyone at Munster, our thoughts are with Ashling's family, and with her extended family and friends.
Time and again, O'Mahony has been praised for his on-field leadership. After a hard-victory last night, it was so important that he went out of his way to remember Ashling Murphy. His comments were dearly welcomed.
@peterom6 Shoulder to Shoulder we all stand together #AislingMurphy I couldn’t be prouder of this man @Munsterrugby @IrishRugby @MICLimerick @TullamoreRFC https://t.co/dHjGX8MCkq
— Rosie Foley INTERNATIONAL (@FoleyRosie) January 15, 2022
This is the level every man in this country should aspire to achieve to get to. Always thinking of others.
Not one person should be afraid to go outside there door at anytime day or night. We need better in our little country.
Rest In Peace Ashling. #shewasgoingforarun https://t.co/IX4AzKFq5v
— Neil Quinn (@NeilQuinn2) January 15, 2022
So important for men in high-profile sporting positions to acknowledge acts violence against women. So many young men look up to them and they can potentially play a huge role. https://t.co/z7yb9GxDy6
— Kristine Niland (@krissyniland) January 15, 2022
O'Mahony should be commended for taking the time to speak out about the tragic news, but he must not be the last. To see a prominent Irish sportsman speaking out on the issue of his own volition directly after a match is a powerful indication of how serious this issue is.
We need more prominent Irish men to refocus the discussion towards what is actually important: women's safety and basic human rights.
I don’t think ever seen a Dublin street so crowded, yet so quiet.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam pic.twitter.com/e6Y68mwKnv
— Liam Kiernan (@liamkiernan59) January 14, 2022
It feels like the entire town of Tullamore has turned out this evening for Ashling pic.twitter.com/LYKba9peGs
— Dominic McGrath (@McGrathDominic) January 14, 2022
The vigil for Aisling outside the Dail was very gentle, almost silent. At times the only sounds were those of the seagulls high above us.
It was a beautiful, clear day and it was strange and awful to think Aisling will never see another.
Men killing women, it has to stop pic.twitter.com/nsEHNPZLbg
— Marian Keyes (@MarianKeyes) January 14, 2022
The vigils held across Ireland in memory of Ashling on Friday afternoon were an emotional indicator of just how important this is.
Ideally we wouldn't need these men to speak on these issues but unfortunately we do. We need more Peter O'Mahony's to step up and be heard so that this never happens again. Enough is enough.
RIP Ashling Murphy. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.