Clonmel Women Take Self Defense Skills Challenge – Photo 1 of 10

A large number of women in the Clonmel area have accepted the offer to take free self-defense classes.
After Ashling Murphy’s death, martial arts instructor Dylan Meagher decided to give women the chance to fight back.
The Grange man was amazed at the level of interest shown by the women.
“After Ashling Murphy was murdered, I got to see the women in my own life, my mom, my girlfriend and how that affected women,” Dylan said.
As a result, he decided to help women who felt vulnerable and wanted to learn how to defend themselves in case of aggression.
“I could see the women around me were scared and worried about what had happened. I wanted to help women stand up for themselves,” Dylan said.
Ten women showed up on the first Sunday morning of the free classes at Cashel Road Sports Complex and over 30 showed up the following Sunday.
“I am delighted with the response. If only one or two had come, we would have continued the classes, but having so many attendees has been great,” said Dylan.
The Muay Thai instructor, who has been in business in Clonmel for ten years, said the free classes provide women with basic self-defense skills.
He was very grateful to Clonmel Town for giving him the hall for free for the Sunday morning class.
“They will know what to do if they get jumped on or attacked. They will have the techniques to repel an attacker and try to raise the alarm. The free classes are designed to try to help women get out of a situation they might find themselves in,” said Dylan
Rebecca Laste, along with two of her friends, were among the women to take up the offer of the free lessons.
“We’re learning basic self-defense skills, something that might buy us some time if attacked,” Rebecca said.
She said that since Ashling Murphy died, she would be nervous about taking the Blueway or the Ring Road.
“Women shouldn’t feel that, they shouldn’t have that worry.
“If something happens, the classes will give us a better chance to defend ourselves,” she said.
Another group member, Jacqueline Delahunty Wall, said she was empowered by attending classes.
“I live in Kilsheelan near the Blueway.
“I’m going with my husband, but I’m not going alone because I feel a bit vulnerable, like other women I’m sure,” Jacqueline said.
Jacqueline said she hasn’t been happy walking alone since an experience she had a few years ago.
“I was walking around and felt uncomfortable and nervous because there was a man acting strangely behind me.
“He may have been completely innocent, but it had an effect on me,” she said.
Jacqueline hopes the classes will give her the confidence to start walking on her own again.
“The classes are fun and I learn to defend myself.
“Hopefully after a few more classes, I’ll start walking on my own again,” she said.

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