Amy Brett, an Irish woman living in New York, says she is blown away by the response she and her fellow organizers have received after announcing a 4-mile charity run / walk to benefit Women’s Aid Ireland in the wake of the shocking murder of Ashling Murphy.
The event, which is gaining traction on social media, is set to take place in New York City's Central Park this Sunday, January 23 at 4 pm.
On Wednesday, Brett, a native of Co Mayo who has been living in New York for nearly a decade, told IrishCentral that Sarah Cosgrave, also a native of Mayo now living in New York, texted her saying she’d love to do something in memory of Murphy.
“The two of us had the idea of 4 miles at 4 pm was born in honor of the time Ashling passed away,” Brett said.
23-year-old Ashling Murphy was fatally attacked while she was out for a jog along the canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly on January 12. On January 19, one man was officially charged on suspicion of murdering Murphy. The shocking incident has sent shockwaves not only through Ireland but also the global Irish community.
Brett and Cosgrave looped in their friend Niamh Reilly, a native of Louth, who helped put the gears in motion, and it's “blown up since.”
The event will begin at the Boat House in Central Park at 4 pm on Sunday, and there will be a gathering in Avoca at 1678 1st Avenue afterward for refreshments and raffles. There is a suggested donation of $30 to participate in the event, with 100% of proceeds going to Women's Aid Ireland, which works to stop domestic violence against women and children. You can sign up online here.
After plugging the charity event on social media, Brett says they received the support of the Aisling Irish Cultural and Community Center in Yonkers, which last week hosted a candlelight vigil in Murphy’s memory that drew about 200 people.
The Irish Diaspora Center in Philadelphia has also gotten on board, and said on Thursday that they would be running a free bus to NYC for the event:
We will be running a free bus to NY this Sunday for this walk/run organized by the Friends of @Aisling_Irish.
Email email@example.com to sign up. pic.twitter.com/oDe8OkGnF7— Irish Diaspora Center (@icphila) January 20, 2022
“We were originally hoping for 50 people – as of now we have 250 registered to walk/run on Sunday,” Brett said on Wednesday afternoon.
“The response and support have been unbelievable – not to mention so many businesses came forwarded and donated prizes for the raffle and made donations to Women’s Aid.”
“The Irish people are a special and rare breed," Brett added, "the messages and phone calls I’ve gotten this week from strangers asking how they can help and what they can do makes this terrible story somewhat more bearable.
“I think it speaks in itself from the amount that have registered how much this has affected our little country. Ireland is meant to be a safe place, and the fact that Ashling was merely going for a run, in broad daylight, makes me, and I’m sure everyone else, sick.”
Brett said that she is sometimes a runner herself and that she has often run alone at all hours of the day, in both the light and dark.
“I would never have thought twice about my safety – and now that’s changed, forever,” Brett said.
“Ashling hasn’t left my mind since I heard of her death, so I can’t even imagine what her loved ones and those that knew her are going through. If us organizing this run can help stop a story like this from ever being told again, it will be well worth it.
“For now, her death won’t have been in vain and we will do our best to keep her memory alive.”