Irish Eyes Are Crying One Week On …

 

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Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said you don’t know your Irish until the world breaks your heart. Truer words were never spoken, at least to the ears of this Irishman.

Last week the lady featured, Ashling Murphy, finished teaching a class of primary students (kindergarten students), and as teachers do, she went for a run to wind down. The run was along a canal in the center of Ireland, outside the town of Tullamore in County Offaly, a place that I know well for personal reasons. She never returned to her pupils. On her run, she was murdered. She never came back to her school, but more importantly to her friends, boyfriend, and family, she never came home.

The Irish police have arrested a suspect, and given the way Irish law works, I will not comment on him. He is innocent until proven guilty, and I do not want to prejudice the case.

But like many in Ireland this past week, I can’t help but feel a loss. Many in Ireland feel it. The whole country was shocked by the events this past Wednesday, and whilst yes, the media machine has amplified her death, there’s no question that it is not all manufactured. I know for many Americans and those from more violent places, such words seem childish or out of perspective. But in Ireland, whilst we have many problems, and many ills, this was out of order. It seems a kind, nice woman, of the type every Irish person of good will knows, was robbed of her life and future by evil. One that’s left us feeling hollow.

I share some traits with this lady that perhaps have added to the pain. Like her I am a teacher, like her I enjoy my work with students, and like her I go to mass regularly. Ashling was, like me, a practicing Catholic, which is unusual in modern Ireland. So obviously, there is some projection going on in my emotions. Nonetheless, she seemed like such a woman in deed as well as looks. First to her school every morning, aiding the students with music (she was an Irish traditional musician), teaching all ages outside of school, and just being a natural aid to living in modern Ireland. She was a sportswoman and a woman of fashion too, but nobody’s perfect (I kid, I kid … ).

But now her life is over. It seems so final. So cruel. So despairing. Not the act of evil that I can get as a history teacher, but the nature of the loss. But this article is about her, not me.

Her funeral was last Tuesday. As expected, a massive crowd attended. The Irish do funerals well. There was a bishop who spoke at the mass, and the taoiseach (Irish prime minister), Micheál Martin, attended, along with several ministers and the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. More importantly, each of Ashling’s 23 students from her first class did a guard of honour. Each carried a rose and a picture of her and told her to fly high in the sky. A testament to their innocence, the majority did not cry, but remained brave as the body entered St. Brigid’s Church Mountbolus, County Offaly.

In my school, we had a minute of silence for her. Never had I felt such emotion. I’ve been in schools where students or teachers passed away, but I never felt it as deep as this. I found myself choking up a bit. Perhaps I am a weakling, or just soft. But maybe it testifies to my humanity. I don’t know. Anyway, this is not my day.

Please, Ricochet members, would you say a prayer for Ashling Murphy? Pray for her friends, family, and boyfriend. They need it. When a friend passed a few years ago, many of you did so. I wrote this at the time, my favourite biblical verse, and I stand by it to this day. Let not evil win. Pray for her soul and its entry to heaven.

“A light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it.” – John 1:5

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There are 16 comments.

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  1. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    May she rest in peace, may her family and loved ones be comforted, and may justice for her murderer be done. Amen.

    • #1
  2. Connie the Cat Member
    Connie the Cat
    @ConnietheCat

    “In company with Christ,
    Who died and now lives,
    may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
    where all our tears are wiped away.
    Unite us together again in one family,
    to sing Your praise forever and ever.

    Amen.”

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Praying for Ashling, her family, and her friends.

    • #3
  4. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Paddy S:

    Please Ricochet members would you say a prayer for Ashling Murphy. Pray for her friends, family and her boyfriend. They need it. When a friend passed a few years ago, many of you did so. I wrote this at the time, my favourite biblical verse and I stand by it to this day. Let not evil win. Pray for her soul and its entry to heaven.

    “A light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it.”

    Beautifully written Paddy. Please be assured of my prayers.

    • #4
  5. Michael Collins Member
    Michael Collins
    @MichaelCollins

    I will pray a rosary for Ashling.

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I am sorry she is dead and that is horrible. 

    Also, I don’t quite understand. Is her death somehow worse than the murders in America? I admit to being one of the Americans who does not understand. 

    I my community a child was just killed in a hit and run. A few months ago a stray bullet killed another child. Neither story made national news. I am not sure they made state news. Certainly no one posted about either death here. 

    It is interesting who gets the community mourning and who does not. 

    • #6
  7. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    A death is a death, and bears no compassion to other deaths per se. I offer what comfort this community can give, respect for your loss and admiration for your ability to express it. 

    If you wished to discuss the murder aspect of this death or relate it to something else, you could have done so. 

     

    • #7
  8. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am sorry she is dead and that is horrible.

    Also, I don’t quite understand. Is her death somehow worse than the murders in America? I admit to being one of the Americans who does not understand.

    I my community a child was just killed in a hit and run. A few months ago a stray bullet killed another child. Neither story made national news. I am not sure they made state news. Certainly no one posted about either death here.

    It is interesting who gets the community mourning and who does not.

    I’m afraid I agree, and maybe it’s me who has grown hard. I keep away from social media but I catch the scent of it unfortunately and I knew this was going to be politicised, which it was. Her family have asked for privacy and I hope they get it.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Paddy S: Please Ricochet members would you say a prayer for Ashling Murphy.

    Done.

    • #9
  10. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Another tragedy likely bought about by the ever wokeinazation of society across the globe. I can understand how that  it may seem that the evils of foreign shores  are encroaching on the more civil Ireland can be very disturbing and alarming.  It is actually disturbing and alarming anywhere it happens even in a more violent place like my hometown of LA.

    • #10
  11. Paddy S Member
    Paddy S
    @PaddySiochain

    For everyone on this thank you for your prayers for her. Also for her family boyfriend and friends. It is appreciated. 

    • #11
  12. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    Paddy S (View Comment):

    For everyone on this thank you for your prayers for her. Also for her family boyfriend and friends. It is appreciated.

    Beautiful post Paddy. As far as anyone knows, this was an entirely random act of murder. It could have been anyone’s daughter or sister or cousin or neighbour. Ireland is a small country, with relatively low crime rates, and awful incidents like this resonate more than might be the case  elsewhere.

     

    • #12
  13. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Paddy S (View Comment):

    For everyone on this thank you for your prayers for her. Also for her family boyfriend and friends. It is appreciated.

    Beautiful post Paddy. As far as anyone knows, this was an entirely random act of murder. It could have been anyone’s daughter or sister or cousin or neighbour. Ireland is a small country, with relatively low crime rates, and awful incidents like this resonate more than might be the case elsewhere.

     

    Yes – very sad story and when I hear or read the words, a random act of murder, it really gets my hackles up. It is extremely disturbing to see this happening over and over where innocent people are just attacked for no reason. God bless this sweet girl.

    • #13
  14. Paddy S Member
    Paddy S
    @PaddySiochain

    I’m liking the response, Americans are famous for their generosity as are some of the other nations here.

    Keep the prayers up. Thank you.

    • #14
  15. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am sorry she is dead and that is horrible.

    Also, I don’t quite understand. Is her death somehow worse than the murders in America? I admit to being one of the Americans who does not understand.

    I my community a child was just killed in a hit and run. A few months ago a stray bullet killed another child. Neither story made national news. I am not sure they made state news. Certainly no one posted about either death here.

    It is interesting who gets the community mourning and who does not.

    Paddy S I am sorry for your loss. Whether or not it’s Ashling or some young kid in Chicago getting hit by a stray bullet, it doesn’t make it any less tragic. Thanks for introducing us to her. Prayers and a shot of Tullamore Dew to Ashling and your community tonight.

    • #15
  16. Patrick McClure Coolidge
    Patrick McClure
    @Patrickb63

    Eternal rest grant unto her oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.  May her soul, and the souls of all the faithfully departed, rest in peace.

    • #16
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