What happened to Ashling Murphy? What we know about teacher’s murder in Tullamore, as Josef Puska, 31, charged | #teacher | #children | #kids


31-year-old Jozef Puska has appeared in court in connection with Ashling’s murder

Irish police investigating the killing of Ashling Murphy have charged a man in connection with the murder of the young teacher.

Police arrested Jozef Puska, 31, in connection with Ashling’s death on Tuesday, with Puska appearing in court having been charged on Wednesday evening.

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It follows the arrest of another man for the potential withholding of information, who has since been released without charge.

Ashling was a 23-year-old primary teacher at Durrow National School, and was from from Tullamore in County Offaly, Ireland.

Her body was found by authorities on Wednesday afternoon on the banks of the Grand Canal in Cappincur.

Tens of thousands of people have also attended vigils in recent days to honour Ashling.

Here is everything you need to know about the situation.

Ashling Murphy was found dead by the banks of the Grand Canal in Cappincur. (Credit: PA)

What is the latest development in the inquiry?

A man named as Jozef Puska was charged with Ashling’s murder after the gardai said that they had made “significant progress” in the investigation.

He had been arrested by police on Tuesday, before a second man was arrested for the potential withholding of information relating to Ashling’s murder.

The second man was released by police without charge.

Puska appeared at Tullamore District Court on Wednesday evening (19 January) during a special sitting, where he was heckled into the building by a crowd which had gathered outside the courthouse.

When the court put the charge of murder towards Puska, he replied “no”, before he was remanded in custody.

The Gardai has confirmed that a file will be prepared for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The court was told that Puska, whose address was given as Lynally Grove, Tullamore, Co Offaly, is a Slovakian national.

A statement of his means was provided to the court during the brief hearing.

District Judge Catherine Staines remanded Puska in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on 26 January.

On Monday police had asked anyone who saw a man dressed in black tracksuit top with no hood, black tracksuit bottoms with a large white stripe or white writing on the side and black runners to come forward.

Officers have asked members of the public whether they saw this man walking in the Tullamore area, or if they gave the man a lift on the evening last Wednesday.

The murder charge comes shortly after Ashling’s funeral was held, which saw family, friends, and mourner gather to remember the young woman.

Floral tributes and candles are left after a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden.

Where was Ashling’s funeral?

Crowds gathered for the funeral in the village of Mountbolus, and outside St Brigid’s Church, where Ashling’s funeral mass was taking place.

Irish president Michael D Higgins and Irish premier Micheal Martin were among those in attendance.

Children outside the church held photographs of Ashling and roses. The message next to her image read: “Fly high in the sky, Our shining light.”

Representatives from Ashling’s local Gaelic football club as well as from her old school attended at the parish church of Saint Brigid.

Schoolchildren provided a guard of honour outside the church prior to the funeral. A number of children also held fiddles and tin whistles.

Ms Murphy’s sister paid tribute to her on social media.

Amy Murphy described Ashling as the “light of our lives and the heart of our family”.

She asked musicians attending the funeral to bring their instrument and play music at the town’s lower cemetery after the funeral.

Ms Murphy’s parents Raymond and Kathleen, and siblings Amy and Cathal and her boyfriend Ryan were among the chief mourners.

Teacher unions urged schools across Ireland to observe a minute of silence in her memory.

Mourners walk beside the hearse as the cortege arrives at St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, for the funeral of Ashling Murphy.

What have others said about the situation?

Ashling’s death has sparked fresh conversations about the safety of women in Ireland.

Vigils took place across Ireland and beyond on Saturday in memory of Ashling.

Park Run runners in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland held moments of silence on Saturday morning for Ms Murphy.

Later, people gathered at locations across Ireland on Saturday afternoon to remember Ms Murphy, with hundreds attending a vigil in Cork on Saturday morning.

Vigils have spread beyond Ireland in recent days, with events organised in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as in Brisbane, Australia.

At a vigil in north London on Saturday, people held candles and stood in silent tribute outside the London Irish Centre.

Traditional music was played in honour of Ms Murphy, a talented fiddle player, while some of the crowd quietly sang or hummed along.

Park Run participants at Orangefield Park in Belfast observe a silence in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy.

Thousands of people gathered in the late afternoon in Tullamore, Dublin, and Belfast on Friday, as Ireland continues to reel from the murder of Ms Murphy.

Ms Murphy’s family attended a candlelit vigil near the murder scene on Friday evening.

A woman lays flowers at the scene where Ashling’s body was found in Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: PA)

At the event, her father Ray Murphy paid a poignant tribute to the talented young musician by performing her favourite song on the banjo.

He broke down in tears while playing the final chords of When You Were Sweet Sixteen.

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