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Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murdering 23-Year-Old Teacher Who Was Brutally Attacked While Out For A Jog

Photo: Facebook
Ashling Murphy

Police in Ireland have arrested a man on suspicion of murdering Ashling Murphy, a 23-year-old school teacher who was killed while out for a jog on January 12 in Tullamore, County Offaly.

Police made the arrest after the man was discharged from a Dublin hospital where he was being treated for multiple wounds on his hands and face.

The man is now being held for questioning at Tullamore’s police station.

What happened to Ashling Murphy?

Murphy was jogging on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore at around 4pm when she was assaulted and killed. 

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A post mortem revealed that she had been strangled to death. 

Two women who witnessed part of the attack reported seeing the suspected killer in a dark tracksuit with no hood and black tracksuit bottoms with a large, distinctive white stripe.

Police arrested a suspect hours after Ashling Murphy’s funeral.

Sources say Tullamore police have a “huge amount” of evidence linking the man to the crime. 

This evidence is reported to include forensic evidence taken from Murphy’s remains which she likely left behind from fighting her attacker.

Police also have DNA from a Falcon Storm mountain bike abandoned at the crime scene that is believed to be linked to the murderer.

Sources have claimed that, so far, there is nothing to suggest that the man was known to Murphy.

"Gardai investigating the fatal assault on Ashling Murphy that occurred at approximately 4pm on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, along the canal bank at Cappincur, Tullamore, County Offaly have arrested a male in his 30s on suspicion of murder,” police disclosed in a statement.

"The male is now detained in Tullamore Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.”

This allows the man to be questioned for up to 24 hours without charge – this timeframe does not include break periods or rest times so questioning may continue over several days.

The suspect is believed to have ties to Offaly, where Ashling Murphy was killed.

Though he was admitted to hospital in Dublin – after making his way to the county hours after the murder – and is tied to a property in south Dublin, the suspect is also linked to a residence in Offaly.

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Both properties have been sealed off and are undergoing extensive searching and forensic examinations.

Vehicles belonging to the man have also been seized as part of the investigation.

Police had previously arrested another man in connection with Ashling Murphy’s murder.

In the first 24 hours after Murphy’s body was discovered, police wrongly suspected another man.

The man was released and police confirmed, in a statement, that he was no longer a suspect. CCTV footage showed that he was shopping in a store at the time of the murder.

Ashling Murphy’s murder has stired a national conversation about violence against women.

People attending vigils and sharing tributes online have expressed shock at Murphy’s tragic death and raised concerns about gender-based crimes. 

The hashtag #SheWasGoingForARun has also taken off on social media as many are calling attention to the dangers women face in their daily activities.

There have been calls for the Irish government to more clearly define which government department is responsible for which part of services for victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.