Before the final Prayer of Commendation at the Funeral Mass of the late Ashling Murphy RIP, Bishop Tom Deenihan of Meath, delivered an address in the parish Church of Saint Brigid, Mount Bolus, Co Offaly, in the Diocese of Meath.

Bishop Deenihan said, “A depraved act of violence which deprived a kind, talented, loved and admired young woman of her life has since united the country in grief and support.

“The crime has also asked questions of ourselves and of society.  It has questioned our attitudes and, particularly, our attitudes towards women and it has questioned our values and our morality.  Whether those questions will be addressed or passed over remains to be seen but “we cannot allow such violence and disregard for both human life and bodily integrity take root in our time and culture. Pope Francis in his homily for New Year’s Day just two weeks ago said that violence against women was an insult to God.”

The Bishop of Meath emphasised the importance of respecting the dignity of every person. He said, “We all know that no  individual should die like Ashling and no family should suffer like Ashling’s. Respect is an old-fashioned word but it is an important one.  Respect was missing last Wednesday but it has re-emerged here all the stronger.  Let us respect each other.

“However, today is about Ashling and her family and friends.  I also think of Ashling’s pupils and the staff of Durrow National School who have lost a wonderful colleague and teacher. Their grief and their loss must be acknowledged and supported.  As we return to our lives after today, their grief and loss remains.”

In conclusion, Bishop Deenihan said, “At moments like this, our faith in Jesus Christ and in His Resurrection come to our aid.  Death is not the end, the grave is not our final destiny. We must remember that.  We need to remember that.

“May Ashling’s memory be a consolation and may she rise in glory.”

ENDS