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Ashling murder prompts motion call to organise female self-defence classes

'After the shocking murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore I am requesting that Newry, Mourne and Down District Council organise and advertise female self-defence courses in all local leisure centres, community facilities etc to increase the confidence of our local female population'

Aisling Murphy

Newry, Mourne and Down Council is being asked to consider arranging for female self-defence classes to be held across the district following the murder of Ashling Murphy.

The 23-year-old was attacked on the banks of the Grand Canal outside Tullamore in County Offaly last month.

Her murder sent shockwaves across Ireland, north and south, and around the world.

The young teacher had gone for a run and never came home; candlelit vigils were staged in Newry, Armagh and far beyond as demands were made for serious action to increase safety for women.

Now a local councillor is asking that Newry, Mourne and Down District Council playing its part in a very tangible way.

Independent Councillor Gavin Malone will table a notice of motion for the February monthly meeting of council where he will ask for support in arranging for classes to be held.

His motion reads: “After the shocking murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore I am requesting that Newry, Mourne and Down District Council organise and advertise female self-defence courses in all local
leisure centres, community facilities etc to increase the confidence of our local female population.

“These courses could provide much needed expertise to females, which they can utilise to maybe save their or other individuals’ lives if they find themselves in difficult situations.”

The motion is scheduled for debate on Monday.

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