31-Year-Old Jozef Puska Charge...


31-Year-Old Jozef Puska Charged With Murder of Ashling Murphy

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A 31-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy.

The 23-year-old schoolteacher was attacked and killed while out running on the Grand Canal near Tullamore last Wednesday.

At Tullamore District Court this evening, 31-year-old Jozef Puska of Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, County Offaly was charged with her murder.

The Slovakian National appeared in court in a matching grey tracksuit and blue disposable face mask.

The court heard that, when he was charged at Tullamore Garda Station this evening and asked if he wanted to make a reply, he said: “No.”

Some family supporters were let into the court room and they held framed pictures of Ashling.

A Slovakian interpreter was provided for the accused.

Defence Solicitor Eoin Lysaght applied for free legal aid and for the services of an interpreter going forward for all hearings and consultations.

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

Mr Puska was arrested by Gardaí at a Dublin hospital yesterday afternoon.

He was taken to Tullamore Garda Station, where he was this evening charged.

A second man arrested as part of the investigation has been released without charge and file will be prepared for the DPP.

It comes just one day after the 23-year-old schoolteacher was laid to rest in her native Offaly.

Ashling Murphy is seen in this undated photo

At her funeral service in Mountbolus, she was remembered as a kind, talented, loved and admired young woman.

Her First-Class pupils from Durrow National School formed a guard of honour outside the church, and each held a red rose and a photo of their teacher as the cortege arrived.

The killing has sent shockwaves through the country, with vigils held all over Ireland and beyond in the days since.

Additional reporting Michael Staines.

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