Man arrested in connection with Ashling Murphy death released and 'no longer suspect'

·2-min read
Photo credit: Ashling Murphy
Photo credit: Ashling Murphy

A 40-year-old man, who was arrested in connection with the death of Ashling Murphy, has been released and is no longer being treated as a suspect.

The 23-year-old teacher tragically died following a seemingly horrific and random attack earlier this week [12 January], whilst out jogging along a canal in Tullamore, County Offaly. Vowing to leave "no stone unturned" in the search for answers, a team of over 50 Garda (Irish police) officers have been assigned to work on the case.

Speaking about the arrest and release of the man in question, a spokesperson told the media: "The male who was arrested and detained by An Garda Siochana investigating this fatal assault has now been released from this detention. This male has been eliminated from Garda inquiries and is no longer a suspect."

Police in Ireland are once again appealing for witnesses, specifically asking anyone with information about a "Falcon Storm mountain bike" with "straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/green front forks" to come forward.

The trail which Murphy was running was along a stretch named 'Fiona's Way', in memory of Fiona Pender, a woman who disappeared from the nearby area whilst seven months pregnant, in 1996.

Murphy was a popular primary school teacher, working at Durrow National School, and a talented musician. The Gardaí have said (according to a BBC report) that her injuries were "consistent with an assault". Sadly, after receiving medical attention following the attack, Murphy died at the scene.

"No stone will be left unturned in bringing the perpetrator of this crime to justice," said Supt Eamonn Curley, who added that it's currently believed the crime was committed by a lone male.

"Any information you have, however insignificant you think it may be, we need to hear from you. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ashling’s family at this stage."

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill tweeted saying, "Her family, friends, colleagues and the children she taught are in our thoughts this morning. Violence against women and girls must be stopped."

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) described the attack as an 'appalling tragedy'.

"For such an appalling tragedy to befall a young woman, who only recently began her teaching career, adds to the profound sense of loss and grief felt," it said.

A vigil in memory of Murphy was attended by several hundred members of the public in Galway on Thursday night, with many bringing flowers and candles to pay their respects to the 23-year-old.

Gardaí are appealing for any person with any information on this fatal assault to come forward. In particular, Gardaí are appealing to any persons that were in the Cappincur/canal walk area of Tullamore before 4pm on Wednesday to contact them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tullamore Garda Station on 057 932 7600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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