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Unhelpful Organiser of Ashling Murphy Tralee vigil apologises for women's safety comments

Phil Horgan spoke to a crowd of hundreds at the Square in Tralee in the wake of the 23-year-old's murder on Wednesday.

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Vigil in Tralee for Ashling Murphy

Vigil in Tralee for Ashling Murphy

Vigil in Tralee for Ashling Murphy

The organiser of a vigil for Ashling Murphy in Kerry has apologised for making unwelcome comments about women’s safety.

Phil Horgan spoke to a crowd of hundreds at the Square in Tralee in the wake of the 23-year-old's murder on Wednesday.

He was criticised for telling women attending the vigil, which took place at 4pm on Friday, that they should be better prepared for any future unsolicited attacks.

Mr Horgan said that women should always walk in pairs and should always carry perfume in their bags to spray at an attacker so that they can then kick them and run away.

Afterwards, many people approached him to tell him that his comments were unhelpful and he has since apologised.

Speaking to Radio Kerry, he said: “I got a bit rambunctious when I was speaking and there were things I shouldn’t have said about kicking them in the shins or kicking them in the... It shouldn’t have been said. One of the women [there] said it to me and I agree with her.

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A vigil of over 500 people in memory of Ashling Murphy was held in The Square in Tralee Co Kerry. People attending were asked to bring a candle.

A vigil of over 500 people in memory of Ashling Murphy was held in The Square in Tralee Co Kerry. People attending were asked to bring a candle.

A vigil of over 500 people in memory of Ashling Murphy was held in The Square in Tralee Co Kerry. People attending were asked to bring a candle.

“But women do need to protect themselves; they do need to be aware of their surroundings. Walk with a friend. Don’t walk by yourself because it’s getting too dangerous.

“My daughter lives in Cork and she’s got to go out at 6 o’clock in the morning to get the bus into town from Rochestown and she’d be on the phone to me the whole time because she’s scared to death.

“The Government need to do something,” he added.

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