"This has to end": Vicky Phelan pays tribute to Ashling Murphy
"She was brutally killed."
Vicky Phelan has penned an emotional tribute to Ashling Murphy.
The 23-year-old primary school teacher was murdered in Tullamore, Co. Offaly last week.
CervicalCheck campaigner Phelan called for change in her moving statement.
She said women deserve to feel safe and should have the right to feel comfortable when going about their daily business.
She wrote: "Like every single woman in this country, I have been deeply affected by the brutal, senseless murder of Ashling Murphy in broad daylight on Wednesday.
"Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I was an avid runner. I ran 4-5 times a week, always on my own..."
Vicky said she always had a key between her fingers because she had to be prepared for danger.
"I was constantly scanning my surroundings and made notes of what men were wearing, how tall they were, etc. in case any of them attacked me."
Vicky said she was one of "the lucky ones".
"In all my years out running, I was never attacked or followed. I was flashed at once but I said nothing. I just kept running and made my way onto a busier path, just in case.
"BUT that doesn't make any of what women have to do RIGHT just to go for a walk or a run alone or walk home from a night out alone!
"Unfortunately for Ashling Murphy, and many other women before her, she paid the ultimate price for being a woman who dared to go out alone for a run... she was brutally killed.
She stressed, "This has to END! RIP Ashling."
Ashling Murphy's funeral will take place at St. Brigid's Church, Mountbolus on January 18th.