Men and boys need to face the "epidemic of violence" against women, says Tánaiste 4 months ago

Men and boys need to face the "epidemic of violence" against women, says Tánaiste

"Men and boys have a responsibility to start to have that conversation among ourselves."

An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said there is an an "epidemic of violence against women" that has been "going on for millennia" in the wake of  the murder of Ashling Murphy earlier this week.

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Ms Murphy was out jogging when she was attacked by the Grand Canal in Tullamore. A man who was initially arrested in connection with the murder has since been released and Gardaí say that he is "no longer a suspect".

Speaking at a news conference in Kildare on Friday, the Fine Gael leader said that there is an "epidemic of violence against women".

He said: "We as a society, need to face up to this. There is an epidemic of violence against women. It's been going on for millennia, quite frankly.

"Men and boys I think in particular, have a responsibility to start to have that conversation among ourselves about the kinds of factors, the kinds of attitudes that give rise to the view to feelings that engender men to commit acts of violence against women."

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He continued: "I am devastated by the events that happened. I would hope that by shining a light on gender-based violence might help us to have this discussion as a society."

Mr Varadkar also made reference to Urantsetseg Tserendorj, who was killed in Dublin a year ago.

"These things just happen too frequently," he said. "I think as a society we've responsibility as well and particularly men and boys and teenagers."

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin also issued a statement about the tragedy.

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He said: "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."

Mr Martin went on: "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."

Anyone with information in relation to the murder of Ashling Murphy should contact Tullamore Garda Station on 057 932 7600. Witnesses can also contact Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, support is available. Women's Aid's 24hr National Freephone Helpline can be reached on 1800 341 900. Other resources can be found on their website right here.

Feature image: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie