Ashling Murphy mourned in candlelight vigil in Dorchester

Pictured in carpark adjacent to Greenhills Bakery, Dorchester. Phoio courtesy Bill  Brett. 

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by Ed Forry

Roughly 200 people gathered in chilly weather late Sunday afternoon (Jan. 16) at a candle-lit prayer vigil for a young teacher who was murdered last week near her hometown in Ireland.  Ashling Murphy, 23, was assaulted and killed while out for a run on the Grand Canal Walk in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, last Wednesday, an unsolved crime that has shocked the Irish people at home and abroad.

The grievers gathered in the Supreme Realty parking lot at the rear of Greenhills Bakery in Dorchester’s Adams Corner for the vigil, organized by the Irish Pastoral Center (IPC). Holding lighted candles despite a heavy breeze, the crowd of adults and children gathered in silence to hear mournful Irish music and recite the rosary. Music was provided by members of the Boston chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann .

News about the murder continues to dominate media coverage across Ireland since last week’s gruesome killing. No one has yet been charged in the murder. Sunday’s gathering here in Dorchester parallels similar vigils across Ireland and in New York, London and Australia.

The tragic murder resonated personally for Cindy Quinn and her husband Dermot, owners of Greenhills Irish Bakery. Ashling’s sister Amy Murphy spent a summer several years ago with them ago working at their bakery, she said. 

“Amy and a friend of hers taught music to Dermot’s niece in Ireland,” Cindy recalled this week. “That‘s how she connected with us when she had a J-1 visa to work in the US.” 

She recalled meeting the Murphy parents when they visited Boston. 

“I hope they will take some comfort knowing that so many people here came out for the vigil,” she said.


More reporting in the Irish Times here: