Women’s Aid has today welcomed the conviction of Josef Puska for the murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, on January 12, last year.
It said the “deep social resonance” of Ashling’s murder should spur us on “in all aspects of Irish society, to do the work required to achieve equality and safety for all, to make Ireland a country that truly has zero tolerance for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – now and for our future generations.”

In a statement issued this afternoon, Sarah Benson, CEO, Women’s Aid, said:

“When Puska senselessly took Ashling Murphy’s life at 4.30pm in broad daylight while she was out on a run, it sent a shockwave through communities in Ireland. That this could happen tapped into a visceral feeling that so many girls and women are socialised to feel – that the risk of male violence is everywhere, that nowhere is safe.”

She said, “One man goes to jail today, but this will not bring Asling back or compensate for her heart-rending loss.”

She said “effective criminal justice sanctions are vital” and Women’s Aid truly hopes that Puska’s conviction “offers some measure of justice and closure to Asling’s family and friends”.

The murder of Ashling was “a shocking example of dangers posed to women”, said Ms Benson. The case put a spotlight on male violence and the need for women to be safe at home and in their communities. Since 1996 Women’s Aid has been recording the violent deaths of women in Ireland during which time 263 lives have been lost due to violence and abuse.

“Each woman killed violently is an outrage,” said Ms Benson. “An absolute tragic loss of life resulting in utter heartache and trauma for those left behind. 263 women whose voices have been silenced through violence, and whose boundless potential was robbed of them and their loved ones.”

Prevention of such violence is “crucial,” she said, urging society at large to have zero tolerance for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

To contact the Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline, ring: 1800 341 900.

W: www.womensaid.ie

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