Father's lament | 

Ashling Murphy's dad joins musical tribute to his daughter at site where she died in Offaly

All afternoon people had been placing bouquets of flowers at the memorial and many of those at the vigil did so too

Ashling Murphy

People walk to the memorial this afternoon

All afternoon people had been placing flowers at the memorial

Gearoid KeeganSunday World

Ashling Murphy's father Ray joined in a musical tribute to his daughter this afternoon at the site in Offaly where she met her death.

Over 100 people walked to the memorial on the bank of the Grand Canal near Tullamore a year to the day after Ashling was killed when she was out for a jog.

Incessant rain earlier in the day cleared as friends and neighbours congregated at the shrine and prayed a decade of the rosary, led by Tom Lawless, undertaker at the 23-year-old schoolteacher's funeral in January last year.

All afternoon people had been placing bouquets of flowers at the memorial and many of those at the vigil did so too, reflecting in silence before some well wishers with musical instruments played a selection of traditional tunes.

People walk to the memorial this afternoon

Ray Murphy joined on the banjo and among the musicians was James Hogan, principal of Durrow National School where Ashling had been working.

Ashling Murphy was an accomplished traditional musician whose instrument of choice was the fiddle and along with being a regular performer and competitor, she gave fiddle lessons and established a trad group for the pupils at her school.

The young woman had completed a day's teaching at the primary school just a few miles from Tullamore on January 12 last year and decided to stop at the canal bank for a run on her way home to her nearby native area of Blueball.

The vigil took place just hours before the first anniversary Mass for Ashling at St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus.

All afternoon people had been placing flowers at the memorial

The Murphy family have founded the Ashling Murphy Memorial Fund which will invest in the advancement of traditional Irish arts, culture and heritage.

Ashling's boyfriend Ryan Casey posted a loving tribute on the Memorial Fund's social media page where he addressed his “soulmate”.

He said: “Time can move at a pace which can be impossible to comprehend but one thing for sure is no matter how fast time may pass, there isn’t a single second that goes by where my heart doesn’t ache for you.”

A man has been charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy and the case is due before the courts in June.


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