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First Minister Paul Givan attends vigil for murder victim Ashling Murphy

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First Minister Paul Givan with Robbie Butler MLA during the vigil in Lisburn on Sunday.

First Minister Paul Givan with Robbie Butler MLA during the vigil in Lisburn on Sunday.

First Minister Paul Givan with Robbie Butler MLA during the vigil in Lisburn on Sunday.

First Minister Paul Givan has attended a vigil in memory of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy, who was murdered earlier this week in Co Offaly.

The vigil took place at the First Lisburn Presbyterian Church on Sunday organised by Alliance MLA Sorcha Eastwood.

Mr Givan posted on his Facebook page: “This evening we joined together as one community to remember Ashling Murphy at First Lisburn Presbyterian Church. A daughter, sister & friend with so much to give taken so cruelly. #standingtogether.”

Photographs posted by the DUP MLA show crowds holding candles gathered outside the church.

Robbie Butler MLA was also in attendance at the vigil in Lisburn.

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He tweeted: “This evenings moving vigil in memory of Aisling Murphy with Lisburn Churches. Chat with @MartinJMagilldiscussing the need for Men to BE THE CHANGE not the danger. Thanks to @SorchaEastwood for organising and was encouraging to stand with the FM @paulgivan in unity of purpose.”

The primary school teacher was murdered at around 4pm on Wednesday as she went for a run alongside the Grand Canal near Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Vigils took place across Ireland and beyond on Friday and Saturday in memory of Ashling.

Hundreds of people stood in solidarity at the gates of Belfast City Hall on Friday as a mark of respect.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill called the murder a “watershed moment” in highlighting the issue of violence against women.

Belfast Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl said a “societal shift” should now be made by everybody to prevent another tragedy.


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