A crowd gathered across in Ashtown yesterday, January 16, to remember and honour Maud Coffey, the latest known victim of gender-based violence in Ireland.
Despite the freezing temperatures, mourners stood with candles and signs representing four women who have been killed in the past month, a sombre reminder that lives are being lost every week.
The vigil was organised by D15 Action Against Gender Violence who handed out leaflets reminding us that gender-based violence is an epidemic that rose dramatically during the pandemic. It reads, “Women and gender non-conforming people shouldn’t live in fear and have to plan our movements to avoid attack or harassment.”
Several activists spoke at the vigil including Orla O’Connor from the Nation Women’s Council who emphasised that we have to do more to protect women. O’Connor highlighted how many women experiencing domestic abuse are turned away from refugees and placed on a waiting list. She said, “We need services; we don’t need waiting lists.”
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It’s been one year since primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was murdered while going for a run along the canal in Dublin. After her death, the country mourned and activists organised demanding an end to gender-based violence in Ireland. Devastatingly, 2022 was one of the worst years for violence against women on record.
Karen Dempsey shared, “…We are standing here in Ashtown in the same way we did one year ago. We walked this canal for all the women who have been victims of femicide in Ireland…we’re still standing here, still honouring one more woman who has been killed in our locality.”
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) January 16, 2023
Maud Coffey’s body was found in an apartment at Royal Canal Park in Dublin 15 on January, Friday 13, 2023. She was 41. Austin Mangan has been charged with her murder.
Police are still searching for the man who killed Natalie McNally in her home in December in County Armagh in Northern Ireland. Bruna Fonseca was killed in her home on New Year’s Day in County Cork.
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GCN would like to offer our sincerest sympathies to all of the friends and families of Maude Coffee and all victims of gender-based violence in Ireland.
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