Rugby

Peter O'Mahony's Comments On Ashling Murphy Were So Important

Peter O'Mahony's Comments On Ashling Murphy Were So Important

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

You can donate to Women's Aid by clicking here or by texting "ACTION" to 50300 to donate €4.

SEE ALSO: Crowley Shows Promise For Munster In Last Gasp Champions Cup Win

Eoin Harrington

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