Words: Eva O’Beirne
Since the murder of Ashling Murphy this day last year, fifteen women have been murdered on the island of Ireland.
Murphy, a 23-year-old school teacher, was fatally attacked while jogging along a canal near Tullamore.
The National Women’s Council (NWC) has called for the Irish public to remember Sandra Boyd, Mary Bergin, Ruth Lohse, Alyson Nelson, Louise Muckell, Margaret Una Noone, Lisa Thompson, Larisa Serban, Miriam Burns, Hollie Thomson, Lisa Cash, Iona Mihaela Pacala, Sharon Crean, Bruna Fonesca and Natalie McNally – the fifteen women who have been murdered on the island of Ireland since 12 January 2022.
The two most recent murders of Bruna Fonesca and Natalie McNally occurred within just two weeks of each other.
Natalie McNally was killed in her home in Lurgan, Co. Armagh on December 18. She was fifteen weeks pregnant. Police have made two arrests but no one has been charged.
Bruna Fonesca was also killed in her home on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old Brazilian native had been living in Cork since last September. Her former partner has been charged with her murder.
In June 2022, the Government published its ‘Zero Tolerance’ strategy to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in response to Ashling Murphy’s murder and calls from women’s advocacy groups to tackle the issue.
According to Women’s Aid, 244 women have been murdered in Ireland since 1996.
In resolved cases, 87% of women were killed by a man known to them. In over half of cases, current or former male intimate partners were responsible for the woman’s murder.
More recent research conducted by Women’s Aid has revealed that one in five young women and one in eleven young men in Ireland have experienced intimate partner abuse.
Since 2015, the number of recorded sexual offences in Ireland has been increasing.
Click here to donate to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.