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Ashling Murphy’s favourite song is sung at London vigil as events held in Ireland and abroad for murdered teacher

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Musicians perform during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

Musicians perform during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People lay flowers during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People lay flowers during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People pay their respects as flowers and messages and candles are left at a memorial outside Leinster House for Ashling Murphy. Picture: Collins

People pay their respects as flowers and messages and candles are left at a memorial outside Leinster House for Ashling Murphy. Picture: Collins

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Musicians perform during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

A huge crowd has gathered in London in solidarity with the family and friends of Ashling Murphy, as vigils take place this weekend around the world.

People held candles and stood in silent tribute outside the London Irish Centre in memory of Ms Murphy.

The 23-year-old's death in Tullamore, Co Offaly, earlier this week has sparked outrage well beyond the island of Ireland.

Gardaí are continuing to hunt for her killer, and have said the Murphy family were "appreciative and overwhelmed by the national outpouring of support shown to them", after vigils were held in towns across Ireland on Friday.

On Saturday, a large number of people queued in Camden Square, north London, to sign a book of condolence and lay flowers.

The vigil took place at around 4pm - the time at which police said the fatal assault occurred on the banks of the Grand Canal in the town on Wednesday.

Traditional music was played in honour of Ms Murphy, a talented fiddle player, while some of the crowd quietly sang or hummed along.

Anna Johnston, cultural officer at the London Irish Centre, said people had come together in solidarity with those who knew and loved Ms Murphy "and all the women of Ireland and further afield who are angry, distressed and heartbroken".

Addressing the crowd, she added: "Today, along with Ashling, we remember all the women who have had their lives stolen through gender-based violence. We shouldn't be here, and Ashling should be."

A minute's silence was held, after which the young teacher's favourite song, When You Were Sweet Sixteen, was sung.

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Her father Ray Murphy had played the tune on the banjo in tribute to his youngest daughter at a vigil on Friday near the scene of her murder.

Last year in London, people gathered in memory of marketing executive Sarah Everard and school teacher Sabina Nessa - two women who were fatally attacked while out walking in the UK capital.

A small sign near the entrance to the London Irish Centre bore their names and those of other women who have died, under the letters "RIP".

It is understood that gardaí have identified a new person of interest, who is currently in hospital, and are waiting to speak to him.

Hundreds of people also gathered in Cork on Saturday morning for a vigil, with more planned in towns and villages across the weekend.

Participants in Saturday Park Runs around the country also paused for a moment’s silence this morning in honour of the accomplished athlete who was killed while she went for a run.

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People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

Scores of vigils and walks are being held around Ireland and as far away as Australia this weekend amid the outpouring of grief over the senseless killing of the young teacher.

Gardaí said they had made "significant progress" in its investigation but were not releasing details for operational reasons.

There were emotional scenes at vigils yesterday, with Ashling’s family attending an event near her home of Killoughey last night.

A minute’s silence was held on Friday, and Park Run runners across Ireland paused in memory of the 23-year-old on Saturday morning.

Books of condolence have also been opened, including at the Mansion House in Dublin and at the Bridge Shopping Centre in Tullamore.

Residents of Vancouver have also organised a vigil across Granville Bridge in the Canadian City this coming Sunday at 4pm.

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People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

After a vigil this afternoon at Smithfield Square in Dublin organised by feminist campaign group Rosa, former TD Ruth Coppinger said it was a watershed moment.

“An unprecedented wave of grief and anger has gripped the country following the brutal murder of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Incredible numbers have turned out to uncountable vigils in every city, town and village called by every conceivable type of organisation from women’s groups to sports clubs,” she said in a statement.

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People lay flowers during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People lay flowers during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People lay flowers during a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

“This is a watershed moment that must be tapped and lead to meaningful change to end the scourge of gender based violence. 10 years ago following the death of Savita, a huge movement said ‘never again’ and vowed such a death would never reoccur. We want the same for Ashling.”

She called for a major conference of women’s organisations, unions, LGBT+, traveller, migrant and other groups to launch a movement against gender based violence and for immediate action by government on education, housing so women are not trapped in abusive relationships, policing and the legal system.

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People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Picture: PA

“We must harness the incredible momentum we are witnessing countrywide to push forward the entire issue of gender based violence. We should not squander this opportunity. It would be the only fitting legacy to Ashling,” she said.


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