21 Jan 2022

'Beautiful, vibrant' Ashling remembered at Mountbolus vigil as Ray and Amy Murphy perform with Ballyboy Comhaltas

'Beautiful, vibrant' Ashling remembered at Mountbolus vigil as Ray and Amy Murphy perform with Ballyboy Comhaltas

The late Ashling Murphy played fiddle with Ballyboy Comhaltas

IN a remarkable act of courage, Ray Murphy and his remaining daughter Amy joined the Ballyboy Comhaltas traditional musical group and performed in front of a massive crowd at a vigil for Ashling Murphy in Mountbolus this evening.

The vigil took place at the Mountbolus GAA grounds and Kilcormac Killoughey club chair Joe Slevin extended the deepest sympathy of the community to Ray, his wife Kathleen, their children Amy and Cathal and Ashling's boyfriend Ryan Casey.

Mr Slevin said he trusted and prayed that the family would have the support of the community in any form they needed in the future.

“We all remember the beautiful, vibrant person that Ashling was and maybe we can bring some of that beautiful person out in our own lives every day from here on in to honour her memory,” he said.

Ashling, the 23-year-old teacher who was murdered on Wednesday, was a member of Ballyboy Comhaltas and played camogie with Kilcormac Killoughey.

John Leahy, GAA coach and local councillor, said he hoped the event would give the grieving family a lift when they needed it most.

“This is to show the family that the community is behind them and God knows, they need that. We're all astounded by the way this has gripped the whole country,” he said.

He said he did not know how the family had the strength to attend vigils in Cappincur and Mountbolus and perform music in public.

“If the lift they're getting gets them by the next couple of days there is still a hard road ahead of them. I've never seen tragedy like this.”

Another local councillor and neighbour of the family, Neil Feighery, said the vigil was a way for the community to show their solidarity in a physical way.

“In spite of the fact that this tragedy has touched people all over the country this is a very local tragedy for us in the parish of Killoughey and Blueball in particular,” he said.

“We all grew up with Ashling and we know the Murphy family and the Leonard family and they're an integral part of the community.

“We've experienced a very dark tragedy in Tullamore this week with the loss of Ashling and we're all finding it hard to put into words how we're feeling.

“Their courage in the face of this tragedy is just incredible and for them to come here tonight in front of the whole community and play the music and play so beautifully with the Ballyboy Comhaltas is a testament to their character.

“But it also shows that they are getting some comfort in playing the music that they loved to play with Ashling.

“We all came together in music and in love. This is an act of love to them as a musical family.”

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