The Taoiseach has said the “unconscionable” killing of Ashling Murphy has united the country in revulsion.
Micheál Martin spoke to the Tullamore teacher’s family yesterday as they came to terms with their horrific loss.
Mr Martin said teachers have always been the “bedrock” of our society and the 23-year-old “represented and personified” this.
“Our hearts and our minds go to the Murphy family, to her community, to her family and friends and in particular young pupils who no doubt would have been looking forward to Ashling’s presence in the classroom teaching music and sport, as well as the broader curriculum.
“I’ve always been of the view that the national school teacher, from the beginning of the State, has been the bedrock upon which our society was built on. And in many ways Ashling Murphy represented and personified the very best of that tradition of national teaching,” he said.
Mr Martin said it is a “concern” that the person who murdered Ashling may still be at large.
“That is of concern, of course, to the people of Tullamore and to the people generally across the country.
Mr Martin said he had spoken with Justice Minister Helen McEntee this morning.
“The gardaí are doing everything they possibly can and (using) all of their resources to protect people and to make sure people are safe, but also to find the person responsible for this and to bring that person to justice. I can say that without hesitation, every effort will be made to bring the person to justice and to keep people safe in the intervening period.” Mr Martin said he had a “private conversation” with Ms Murphy’s family yesterday.
“I just wanted, like everybody across the country, on behalf of people to express our solidarity with them, and our devastation at the fact that a beautiful young woman has been taken from their lives.
“It’s just unconscionable, it’s something I think that has united the people of this country in revulsion against it, and it’s very, very sad for them – to take a young woman through life, coming out of a teaching training college, back in her home location teaching in a national school doing what she loves best. It’s very, very devastating for the family and for the wider community, I think for all of us in the country.”
He added: “Obviously the family is very devastated and I don’t want to say any more than that.”