‘Every woman’s worst nightmare,’ says Justice Minister Helen McEntee of the assassination of teacher Ashling Murphy.


‘Every woman’s worst nightmare,’ says Justice Minister Helen McEntee of the assassination of teacher Ashling Murphy.

The murder of a young teacher while jogging has been described by Justice Minister Helen McEntee as “every woman’s worst nightmare.”

At around 4 p.m. yesterday, Ashling Murphy, 23, was violently assaulted in Cappincur, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

When the talented traditional musician, who worked at Durrow National School, was targeted, she was exercising along a well-known route.

The suspect, who is believed to be from outside the area, is believed to have attacked in an unprovoked and random manner, according to Gardai.

After the incident, the man, who was in his 40s, was arrested.

Other walkers are believed to have witnessed the attack.

Officers believe the primary school teacher and her assailant were strangers.

Before being released or charged, the suspect can be held for up to 24 hours.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the incident was “absolutely devastating” in an interview with RTE Radio 1’s News at One.

“I say this is every woman’s worst nightmare because, while we shouldn’t, we do take precautions, and women don’t always feel safe,” McEntee explained.

“Ashling went for a run in broad daylight, in a populated area, in an area where, according to locals, they felt safe.”

“However, this is what has happened to her, which is why it is every woman’s worst nightmare.”

“More broadly, the issue of women feeling safe that we now face, we need to make sure that we listen to this and that we take all of this into account, that we come together as a society to address this issue.”

She also expressed her heartfelt condolences to Ashling’s bereaved family and the surrounding community.

“I want to express my condolences to Ashling’s family, friends, all of her colleagues, her community, and indeed the wider community,” Minister McEntee said.

“We’ve been hearing all morning from so many people who have spoken so highly of Ashling; she was a young woman, a beautiful woman, who had only recently graduated, was teaching, was clearly very talented, and was very involved in the community.”

“It’s absolutely devastating for this to happen, and I know a lot of people are struggling to come to terms with it.”

“The garda investigation has begun; I just spoke with the garda commissioner this morning, and he assured me that every effort is being made to ensure Ashling receives justice.”

Minister McEntee appealed to anyone who has information to come forward.

“If I could just reiterate the Superintendent’s request, which is anyone who has any information, it doesn’t matter if you feel that…,” she continued.

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