Traditional band JIgJam were among the many local musicians who took part in a vigil for Ashling in Tullamore on Friday. Similar vigils were being held in cities and towns throughout Ireland on Friday with more planned for Saturday and Sunday, January 15-16 – including major events in Dublin, Belfast and London and a special online livestream organised by the National Deaf Women of Ireland – with an array of traditional musicians appearing in solidarity with Ashling’s family and friends.
Exceptionially talented – Comhaltas
From its national headquarters in Monkstown, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann issued the following statement:
“All of us in Comhaltas and the world of Irish traditional music are shocked at the untimely death of Ashling Murphy. She was an exceptionally talented young lady who made an unforgettable impression on all who had the good fortune to know her. Ashling was among the finest exponents of the concertina and fiddle and was also learning the uilleann pipes. She has featured in our Comhaltas Concert Tours and was also a valued member of the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland. We know that she and her family are at the heart of her local community. She was a much-loved school teacher and had so much to offer in so many ways.
“The brutal manner of her death – in the middle of the day – as she jogged by the banks of the peaceful canal in Tullamore has left us numbed and bewildered. The suffering of her family at the loss of such a young and beautiful person is beyond understanding. We share their grief with them and we will always remember Ashling as one who enriched our lives with her warm personality; uplifting musicmaking; compassionate, outgoing and generous friendship
Ashling, you will always be in our thoughts and prayers as we cherish the memories and friendship of your short but exceptional life. Ar dheis Dé go raibh do anam uasal ceolmhar. From all your musical colleagues and friends in Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.”
The Irish Traditional Music Archive has expressed its deepest
sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of “the gifted
young musician and teacher Ashling Murphy whose life was so cruelly
taken from her in Tullamore on Wednesday. Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam
Na Píobairí Uilleann extended its sympathies to Ashling’s family and
friends noting that the talented musician was a member of Na Píobairí
Uilleann and “a keen student of the uilleann pipes.” “Her passing leaves
us shocked, saddened and heartbroken for all of those who were
fortunate enough to have met her,” the NPU added.
She was going for a run
Similar messages were forthcoming from Comhaltas Branches around Ireland as well as in Britain. Dublin Comhaltas described Ashling as “a bright young woman and a gifted musician with her whole life ahead of her,” while the Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland made a lengthy statement on gender violence accompanied by the meme: “SHE WAS GOING FOR A RUN. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam. May she rest in peace.”
FairPlé, the advocacy group challenging gender discrimination within traditional and folk music in Ireland, expressed its “deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ashling Murphy” – offering “love and strength to those feeling loss and pain today.”
Describing Ashling as “a bright soul and an exceptional talent, guilty only of going for a run,” Mise Fosta, the campaign to highlight the abuse of women in traditional music, said that “the tradition has lost another woman whose gifts will cease to flourish and brighten the lives of those around her. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ashling’s family, friends and musical circle,” – adding: “Mise Fosta stand with every woman going about their day today with an ill feeling in their stomach and Ashling Murphy on their mind.”
Expressing her condolences to Ashling’s family and friends, musician and senator, Frances Black said: “there are no words to express the shock and sadness of the horrific murder of the beautiful and talented Ashling Murphy,” while Templebar Tradfest recalled that Ashling had performed with the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland at the last live edition of the festival in January 2020. Among the many other musicians to express their condolences publicly were Sharon Shannon, Kevin Crawford, Ger O’Donnell, Mirella Murray, Josephine Marsh, Deirbhile Ní Brolchaáin and Elle Marie O’Dwyer.