Fermanagh united in grief over Ashling Murphy murder

THE PEOPLE of Fermanagh have joined in the outpouring of grief seen across Ireland in recent days following the murder of Tullamore teacher Ashling Murphy.

From Belleek to Tempo, Enniskillen to Roslea, vigils were held across the county this weekend in memory of the talented and much-loved 23-year-old who was murdered while jogging along of the Grand Canal last Wednesday. Other vigils are planned this week, notably in Lisnaskea this evening (Wednesday).

Although she may be from Tullamore in County Offaly, Ashling was well known in local musical circles and had many friends here in Fermanagh.
On Friday evening, some of those friends were among the hundreds who gathered at Fermanagh House for a candlelight vigil. Organized by Ireland’s traditional music school, Tradacad, the service was opened by Finola Owens who said everyone at the school, Fermanagh Comhaltas and the broader Irish music community was shocked at the untimely death of Ashling.

“She was an exceptionally talented young woman who made an unforgettable impression on all who had the chance to know her,” Ms Owens told the assembled crowd, which included local musicians young and old.

Ms Owens said Ashling had been very active in musical circles and had toured Comhaltas with local musicians, including John McCann and Gareth Maguire of The Tumbling Paddies, who had been on the ‘Echoes of Erin’ tour. Comhaltas with Ashling.
Many in the crowd were moved to tears by the magnificent musical tributes, which included an instrumental piece, “The Mountains of Pomeroy”, by Mr. McCann and Mr. Maguire.

Father Brian D’Arcy praised the musicians, especially the children, noting that Ashling herself would have been delighted to see so much young talent. Noting that he did not know the 23-year-old personally but knew her father, Father D’Arcy said the vigil showed that the gifts of music, as well as the talents and kindness of Ashling, could never be extinguished. The county’s running community was also united in grief at his death. On Saturday, a memorial run and vigil was held in memory of Ashling in Enniskillen.

Organized by Ian Birney of Enniskillen Running Club and Aravon McCann of Maguiresbridge Running Club, nearly every running club in the county was represented at the joint event, which ended with a vigil outside the town hall led by Reverend Brian Harper, pictured left, led the vigil, while Honor Irvine read a poem honoring Ashling, and Yasmin Swift and Gabriel McArdle pay homage to traditional music.

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Posted: 5:01 PM January 19, 2022

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