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Ashling Murphy: Funeral of 23-year-old schoolteacher takes place

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By Josephine Joly
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23-year-old Ashling Murphy's funeral will take place later today.
23-year-old Ashling Murphy's funeral will take place later today.   -   Copyright  Euronews

The funeral of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy, a primary school teacher who was was attacked and murdered on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore while out for a run last Wednesday, will take place later today in Co Offaly.

A post-mortem examination of Murphy in Ireland has revealed she was strangled to death.

Her death revived the debate around women's safety in Ireland and neighbouring UK, where several women have been killed in public, including Londoner Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped and murdered by a police officer on the evening of March 3, 2021.

The tragedy prompted calls for more to be done to tackle violence against women and domestic violence.

In recent days, tens of thousands of people attended vigils to honour the young teacher, who taught first class at Durrow National School.

Her murder is currently being investigated by the Irish national police service, also known as Gardaí, which has renewed its appeal for information, saying "significant progress" has been made in the murder probe. Specific details could not be confirmed for operational reasons.

Last Thursday, a 40-year-old man was released from garda custody and declared no longer to be a suspect in the case.

The man had been arrested within an hour of the discovery of the body of Ashling Murphy. He had been questioned for seven hours on Wednesday evening before resting overnight.

Local media report that the man consistently denied any involvement in the murder during interrogations.

Detectives continued to interview witnesses and gather forensic evidence, including DNA, and as a result of their inquiries, they discovered on Thursday evening that the man could not have been involved in the murder.

Meanwhile, Gardaí released the description of a man they want to speak to in relation to Murphy's murder on Monday.

The Irish national police have asked anyone who saw a man dressed in a 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 also 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 of January 12, or even if they noticed him loitering at any location or being "involved in any activity which drew your attention".

The statement appealed for "any member of the public who was on the Grand Canal Way on the morning or afternoon of January 12, between Digby’s bridge and Ballycommon, to contact the investigation team".

"An Garda Síochána continues to appeal for any information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/green front forks prior to 4 pm on Wednesday 12 and in the previous days/weeks."

"Any member of the public with any form of video footage (Dashcam, CCTV, Mobile phone, GoPro Cam, etc..) in the general Tullamore area last Wednesday are invited to contact the police."

Meanwhile, officers have appealed for people to stop sharing information on social media on Monday, particularly private messaging apps, after concerns this could disrupt the investigation.

On January 12, Murphy left Durrow National School after work and went to exercise along the banks of the canal at Cappincur in Tullamore. She was attacked and killed within the hour and died by strangulation.

Just days after her death, members of the public still continue to bring floral tributes and messages along the banks of the canal.

Her funeral will take place on Tuesday at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus at 11 am. Her family has appealed for privacy at her family home before the funeral mass.

Additional sources • EBU