Taosieach Micheal Martin said we need a “zero tolerance” approach to violence against women following the brutal murder of a young primary school teacher.
Ashling Murphy was killed in a random attack as she went for a run in Tullamore in the middle of the day.
The 23-year-old Offaly teacher was running a popular route along the grand canal at 4pm when, it is believed, she was randomly attacked.
The tragic incident has sparked outrage up and down the country with many raising concerns about women’s safety.
Vigil’s were held across the nation, including one outside the Dail on Kildare Street which the Taosieach attended.
Speaking to Dublin Live at the vigil, the Fianna Fail leader said Ashling “personified the very best traditions of Irish National School teaching”.
He said: “We sympathise with the Murphy family. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them.
“I think the people of Ireland are in solidarity at the shocking manner and violent manner in which young Ashling’s life was taken.
“Her personality had so much to offer and she had done so much already in her life in terms of music, sport and teaching. As I said earlier, she personified the very best traditions of Irish National School teaching.”
Mr Martin added a new strategy to develop a “zero tolerance” approach to violence against women would soon be published.
He said: “I think it is of huge importance that we do everything we possibly can to protect women and make sure women feel safe.
“That is going to take a lot of effort and an overall society approach.
“We will be publishing a national strategy in the next while on this issue in terms of developing a zero tolerance for violence against women.”
The Taosieach urged men to take action and change the culture that leads to such horrific murders.
“Men must take a lead role in this, in changing the culture that is prevalent in terms of undermining women and in terms of violence on women. That is the direction in which we have to go.
“Today and today’s events is about solidarity with the Murphy family and we do have to take from it and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
“The violence involved is quite shocking.”
To get the latest breaking news straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter.