Ashling Murphy: A Man Has Been Arrested In Connection With Her Death

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Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old primary school teacher, was killed on the banks of the Grand Canal in the Cappincur area of Tullamore at approximately 4 pm on Wednesday 12 January. It’s believed that Ashling was on run at the time of the attack. 

A man in his 40s has been arrested in connection with Ashling’s death – he currently remains in custody. 

At a news briefing, superintendent Eamonn Curley said (via Sky News), “At this stage, there is no information that the victim and her killer were known to each other.

“From our enquiries, we have carried out, we believe this crime was committed by one male who acted alone.”

He also said that a 40-year-old man has been arrested and detained at Tullamore Garda Station, and that officers retain an “open mind” in the investigation, adding, “No stone will be left unturned in bringing the perpetrator of this crime to justice.” 

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Frank Kelly, a former principal of Durrow National School where Ashling worked, told The Irish Times: “She was a shining light as a teacher, the children in her class adored her. Her word was gold, they worshipped the ground she walked on.”

“She was an absolute gem. She came to the school as a substitute teacher in March 2021 and was then put on a fixed term position from September.

“Ashling was very musical, she had recently bought a set of uilleann pipes and was going to learn how to play them, they are a very difficult instrument to master, but no obstacle was too big for her.”

Ashling’s tragic case has sparked further outcry at male violence against women, and questioning what is being done to protect women. Many have also pointed out that the canal along which Ashling was jogging was named after Fiona Pender, a 25-year-old woman who disappeared in the area in 1996 while heavily pregnant. “The cyclical nature of violence against women,” tweeted journalist Rossalyn Warren.

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Gardaí are appealing for information, and asking anyone who was in the Cappincur/Canal walk area of Tullamore before 4 pm on Wednesday to make contact with them. 

The National Women’s Council of Ireland is organising a vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy outside the Dáil in Dublin on Friday at 4 pm.

Our thoughts are with Ashling’s family at this incredibly sad time. 

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