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'Frightening' Gardaí investigate 'offensive' exposure incident during Ashling Murphy vigil

The organiser of the Zoom vigil reported that a man repeatedly tried to disrupt the meeting by exposing himself and appearing to masturbate on camera.

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Ashling Murphy (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann/PA)

Ashling Murphy (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann/PA)

Ashling Murphy (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann/PA)

Gardaí are investigating an act of indecent exposure that took place during a Zoom vigil for the late Ashling Murphy on Sunday evening.

Primary school teacher Ashling (23) was attacked and killed as she jogged along the Grand Canal outside Tullamore, County Offaly, on Wednesday, January 12th.

A number of vigils have taken place around Ireland and beyond since news of her death broke, with one taking place online last weekend for those who could not attend in person.

The organiser of the Zoom vigil reported that a man repeatedly tried to disrupt the meeting, which was attended by around 90 women, by exposing himself and appearing to masturbate on camera.

The incident is now being investigated by gardaí.

Sergeant Eimear O’Connell of Macroom Garda Station said that the horrific act was “very frightening” for those attending the online vigil.

“There was a Zoom meeting held on Sunday 16th January this year; it was a vigil for the deceased Ashling Murphy. The incident was reported at Clonakilty Garda Station the following day,” she told Cork’s 103fm this morning.”

She said that she imagines “it was very frightening for anyone that was on the Zoom meeting and caused great offence.”

Sgt O’Connell appealed to anyone who attended the vigil to make a report to gardaí as it will “make the case stronger.”

“If anyone wants to make a report or complaint regarding what they saw, they can contact their local Garda Station who will then forward on their details to the West Cork Protective Services Unit.

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“They will follow up and take the complaint from anyone that was on this Zoom meeting and found the material very offensive.

“Please make contact. The more people that make a complaint will make the case stronger going forward. Someone might know a different bit of information that would help the investigation and that information would be appreciated.”

A garda spokesperson added: “Gardaí have received a number of complaints from different parts of the country and AGS are carrying out enquires at this time.”

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