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poignant Ashling Murphy funeral mass shown beautiful montage of photos depicting teacher's precious moments

The poignant pictures highlighted the precious moments that the murdered school teacher shared with friends and family

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Ashling and her family

Ashling and her family

Ashling and her family

A beautiful montage of photographs documenting the short life of Ashling Murphy were shown across screens during her funeral mass at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus this morning.

The poignant pictures depicted the precious moments that the murdered school teacher shared with friends and family, and included a 21st birthday, and numerous images of the 23-year-old on holidays that showed her living her life to the fullest.

Ashling was remembered as a “wonderful and lovely human being” at her funeral mass where her family, including dad Raymond, mother Kathleen, brother Cathal, sister Amy, and boyfriend Ryan, arrived to be greeted by a guard of honour formed by pupils from two national schools as a tribute to the beloved teacher.

Ashling’s first class pupils from Durrow National School stood outside for the funeral mass alongside pupils from Coolanarney National School in Blue Ball, where Ashling was a pupil.

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Children lined the roadside as her remains were driven from her family home to the church.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, as well as Justice Minister Helen McEntee were seated in the front row of the church as the coffin was brought in and placed near the altar.

They then made their way over to Ashling’s family where Ms Higgins embraced her mother and father.

As they made their way back to their seats at the front of the church, they laid their hands on the coffin.

Taoiseach Michael Martin also arrived at the church and shook hands with the family before the priest welcomed children to the altar with gifts representing Ashling’s short life.

These included a musical instrument “representing her great love of music and how she shared it with so many and taught to so many,” the priest said.

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“We have a family photograph, as family was everything. And we have a jersey from Kilcormack, a jersey she wore with pride and great glee.”

There was also a hurl “for that sport she loved and played so well, camogie, and of course, the book, for her great love and vocation as teacher where she imparted so much knowledge and love to so many children.”

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“Together we grieve, together we pray. Together we hurt and this is the very heavy price we all have to pay for love,” he said.

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“Let us not be afraid to pray for one another, let us not be afraid to care for one another and let us not be afraid to make change happen, to make this a reality, to make change for what is only good.

“There are many issues raised in many ways and by many voices since this horrible act of violence invaded all our lives, and we pray those issues and those voices will continue to evolve, and will continue to challenge every single one of us to make that change that we all need so much.

“To not just to talk about it but to give and show respect. Now we are here in another home, it is a home where God lives and it is a home where Ashling and her family joined in prayer with her larger family of this parish, of this community.

“In this place her journey of faith began, through the sacrament of baptism.

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“Here and at home, is where this faith blossomed, where that life of love and a life of hope and a life of trust was truly nurtured and truly shared freely.

“That same love and joy was not wrapped up and put on a shelf. It was shared freely through Ashling’s love of music, her joy of sport, through her vocation as a teacher.

“Today give thanks for the privilege of knowing such a wonderful and lovely human being.

“Today we share our love, we share our grief, we share our faith, we share and pray that we may comfort each other.

“Since this terrible event happened, we have been talking, we have been listening, we have been caring and we have been sharing many many stories.

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“The real challenge is to continue to trust in God and truly believe that God walks in all our shoes.

“We complete this journey today with very heavy hearts, we go as far as we can.

It is the same journey that awaits all of us in its own way, in its own disguise.

“We go to a graveside and just when Jesus left his followers to return to his father he made a promise.

“Those same words of Christ are very appropriate for every single one of us, ‘know that I am with you always to the end of time’.

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