Ms Murphy, a 23-year-old recent university graduate and primary school teacher, was murdered while out jogging on the 12 of January.
An outpouring of grief and solidarity from students around the country has arisen since Ms Murphy’s murder, with crowds in their thousands attending numerous vigils that have been arranged in her memory.
Students’ Union President Róisín Nic Lochlainn was one of the speakers at the Eyre Square Vigil which took place on the 13 of January, and spoke on her views surrounding the topic of gender-based violence and harassment. She stated to all in attendance that “until we have gotten rid of rape culture, and until we have created a culture of consent in Ireland, this is going to continue to happen. If you have ever engaged in ‘lad talk’ or ‘locker room’ talk, then you are a part of this and it needs to end.”
As a result of the concerns felt by many students at this time, NUI Galway Students’ Union are promoting a range of new safety initiatives for students.
The safety alarms can be fastened to any keychain, and the door alarms can be attached to the outside of your door handle. Both omit a loud ringing sound when triggered. The keychain alarms can be sounded by the owner in the event of an attack, and the door alarm can be programmed to sound if someone tries to enter the room from the outside.
Speaking to SIN, NUI Galway Students’ Union President Róisín Nic Lochlainn said “We have safety alarms on sale in the SU Shop for anyone would like to buy them. We know that this unfortunately does not solve the problem at the root of this issue, but anything that we can do to make students feel safer is worthwhile at the moment.”
“As well as this, we have also ordered a sample of drink toppers that people can use to cover their drinks while on nights out. Again, we realise that this also does not solve the core issue of drink spiking at play here, but we want to do as much as we can to make students feel safer when they are socialising in bars and nightclubs. We hope to stock these in the bathrooms at SULT so that anyone can take them.”
She concluded by saying that the Students’ Union is also aiming to implement free self-defence classes and bystander intervention training for students in the coming weeks.
NUI Galway Students’ Union have also been highlighting the Women’s Aid ‘Too Into You’ campaign on campus, which aims to raise awareness about intimate relationship abuse against young women.
NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh also communicated a statement surrounding ‘respect’ with the Students’ Union to all students.
Speaking in an email to registered students, Mr Ó hÓgartaigh and Ms Nic Lochlainn reminded students that “as a thriving university we value all experiences, traditions, gender identities and ethnicities and we know that a civil and considerate environment is integral to the health and wellbeing of our students and staff.”
The email concluded by asking “members of our university to recommit to treating each other well, with kindness, consideration and respect, both on and off campus.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please visit https://su.nuigalway.ie/mental-health-supports/