Ashling Murphy: Man charged with murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy

January 19, 2022

A man has appeared in court charged with murder of primary school teacher Ashling Murphy in the Republic of Ireland.

Ms Murphy, 23, was attacked while out exercising beside a canal in Tullamore, County Offaly, last Wednesday.

Jozef Puska, 31, was heckled as he was taken from a Garda car to appear before a special sitting of Tullamore District Court on Wednesday evening.

Puska, who has been remanded in custody, was first arrested on Tuesday.

A second man arrested in connection with Ms Murphy's death has been released without charge.

On Tuesday, large crowds gathered in the village of Mountbolus and outside St Brigid's Church, where her funeral was held.

Mourners included Irish president Michael D Higgins and Irish premier Micheal Martin.

She was described as a "woman who lived the short years given to her to the full, who developed her talents, who reached out to others, who made a difference, who brought happiness and who was loved".

Pupils from Ms Murphy's class at Durrow National School formed a guard of honour while schools across Ireland observed a moment's silence at 11am.

Vigils have been held across Ireland and the world to remember Ms Murphy and to call for a change in tackling gender-based violence. A crowd of around 40 people walked along the canal on Wednesdat, to mark one week since her murder.

Mr Martin described her death as a "dark moment in Ireland's history".

"Our primary and necessary response to Ashling's death is clear - we want and need a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women and this will require all of us - as a society - to commit to lasting change," he told the Irish Parliament.

"Deputies will be aware that, led by (Justice) Minister (Helen) McEntee's department, we have been working on a new whole-of-government strategy to combat domestic, sexual, gender-based violence. Work on this project has been underway for the last 12 months and it is approaching conclusion.

"The fundamental goal of this strategy echoes so much of what has been asked for in recent days: zero tolerance of violence against women."

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