It’s been going on for millennia

She was out for an afternoon run by the canal.

Vigils are taking place across Ireland and the UK in memory of murdered 23-year-old teacher Ashling Murphy.

Irish police are continuing to hunt for the killer of Murphy, who was found dead on Wednesday after going for a run on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly. The Garda Síochána said it had made “significant progress” in its investigation amid reports that detectives had identified a person of interest.

The canal. Canals are good places to walk and run. I seek them out, myself. There are canals here that link Lake Washington to Puget Sound; I like to walk along them. The first morning of my stay in Dublin for an atheist conference I went exploring and scored a walk along the canal. Women should be safe doing that.

Thousands of people gathered in the late afternoon in Tullamore, Dublin and Belfast on Friday, as Ireland continues to reel from the murder of Murphy, with echoes of the national reckoning that was sparked in the UK last year by the murder of Sarah Everard. Events also took place in Belfast, Dublin and other towns and cities on Friday.

The death of Murphy has sparked fresh debate about the safety of women in Ireland, with many asking how such an attack could happen in broad daylight.

“We, as a society, need to face up to this. There is an epidemic of violence against women. It’s been going on for millennia, quite frankly,” Leo Varadkar, the deputy prime minister, said on Friday.

And it’s not over. You get an actor from the Harry Potter movies calling the author of the Harry Potter novels an “auntie” because he dislikes her views, and you get Fox News raging over the “narcissism” of…Hillary Clinton. It’s not just about rape, it’s also about contempt and disgust for women as such.

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