NOT all men are responsible for acts of violence but all men need to be part of the resistance to gender violence.
That was the message that Marie Mulholland of the West Cork Women Against Violence project shared with the large crowd that attended the Bantry vigil in memory of murdered Ashling Murphy.
The Bantry vigil was one of many held in West Cork including Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Bandon, Dunmanway, Schull, Kinsale, Timoleague, Barryroe and Ballydehob as people came together this week in the aftermath of the young teacher’s tragic death.
Extending her heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Ashling, Marie said: ‘We know more than most that violence against women is an epidemic in our society. It is rare for the murderer to be a stranger to his victim, women are much more likely to be killed by someone they know and in their own home. Ashling’s murder demonstrates the dangers women face everywhere,’ she said.
She added that thousands of women, triggered by Ashling’s appalling death, would relive their most terrifying moments.
‘There are even more who will be increasingly fearful for their own safety because violence against women can and does happen everywhere. Unless we have a comprehensive, sustained whole-of-society strategy dedicated to the prevention, eradication and punishment of gendered violence, women will continue to be at risk,’ she said. Cork county mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan said that, like everyone, she was shocked and saddened by the tragedy.
‘On behalf of the people of Cork county I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ashling Murphy. I am truly shocked by such an act of violence and can only imagine the sense of loss that is currently being experienced across the community in Co Offaly.
‘My thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved Ashling. As a fellow teacher, and on a personal level, I would like to offer my condolences to everyone who has been impacted by this tragedy.’