Taoiseach Micheal Martin has described the killing of young Irish teacher Ashling Murphy as a “devastating blow to her family and community”.
Ashling Murphy, a primary school teacher in Tullamore, was killed on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur.
A 40-year-old man has been arrested.
In a statement this evening, Mr Martin said: “The entire country is devastated and shocked by the violent and barbaric killing of Ashling Murphy, a young woman in the prime of her life.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her parents, family, friends, club and community.
“We are also conscious of the enormous trauma being experienced by the children she taught at Durrow National School.
“Ashling represented the best of modern Ireland, as a teacher, musician and sportsperson.”
The Taoiseach said violence against women would not be “tolerated”.
Micheal Martin said Ashling Murphy “gave everything to life, moulding young people for the future and sharing her talent for music and sport”.
“There is no place in our society for violence, particularly violence against women. It cannot and will not be tolerated.
“The safety and security of women is at the core of our society’s values.”
The Lord Mayor of Cork, in conjunction with the deputy Lord Mayor and chair of Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus, will tomorrow open an online book of condolences for the late Ashling Murphy.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher, said the untimely death of Ashling Murphy is “utterly tragic” and extended his condolences to all who knew her.
“Your heart would absolutely go out to her family, her friends, her pupils, and the community.
“As Lord Mayor, on behalf of the people of Cork, I will open a book of condolences jointly with the deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Mary Rose Desmond, chair of Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus, as a sign of solidarity to the people of Tullamore in Offaly and also to Ashling’s family.” Cllr Mary Rose Desmond also expressed her sympathies to Ashling’s family, her friends, her students and the people of Tullamore.
She described the killing of Ashling Murphy as a “horrific crime against humanity”.
“She was a young woman at the start of her life, with opportunities and her career - the world should have been her oyster.
“It’s awful. It really is very, very sad.” The online book of condolences will open tomorrow and all are welcome to offer their condolences on www.corkcity.ie Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan said she was “truly shocked by such an act of violence and can only imagine the sense of loss that is currently being experienced across the community in Tullamore and County Offaly. “ “My thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved Ashling.”
The National Women’s Council of Ireland will hold a candle-lit vigil from 4pm today outside Leinster House.
In Cork, a walk is scheduled in memory of Ashling Murphy this Saturday at 9.30am at the Atlantic Pond, on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh side, while at 2pm, Rosa Cork will hold a standout outside Brown Thomas on Patrick Street.