Just last week, the Christmas lights were sparkling on Letterkenny Main Street.

Last night, the little lights that shone in Market Square were an expression of pure sorrow.

Letterkenny was one of many towns in Donegal to host a candlelit vigil yesterday for Tullamore murder victim Ashling Murphy.

All over Ireland, people quietly paid their respects to a young woman whose life was taken much too soon. Similar vigils took place in Donegal Town, Buncrana, Carndonagh, Ardara and many more communities in the county.

In Letterkenny, the event organised by the CDP saw people of all ages standing in solidarity with Ashling’s family, her boyfriend, her friends, her colleagues and her students. For others tonight, it was a peaceful stance against senseless gender-based violence.

People expressed their grief and anger through tears, hugs and solemn tunes. Overall, the stunned silence was the loudest.

Letterkenny CDP Vigil for Ashling Murphy

Investigations are continuing into the horrific attack on 23-year-old teacher Ashling Murphy. Gardaí have confirmed tonight that “significant progress” has been made as they continue to support Ashling’s family at this time.

The Donegal Women’s Centre offers support to anyone affected by men’s violence against women. Call the listening ear service on 0749124985

Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline operates 24 hours a day: 1800 341 900