Murder of Ashling Murphy: Police arrest second man for murdering teacher
Police have arrested a second man for the murder of teacher Ashling Murphy.
The man, in his thirties, is being held at a police station in the eastern region of Ireland on suspicion of withholding information from the police.
It comes a day after another man, a 31-year-old Slovak, was also arrested when he was released from hospital in Dublin.
That man is now being questioned in Tullamore, the town where Ashling was murdered, as the prime suspect – amid reports that police are confident they will press charges.
A decision will be made today on whether or not to charge him.
Ashling Murphy was murdered last Wednesday. The funeral of the 23-year-old teacher took place today and was attended by large crowds who gathered outside the church in Tullamore. Her family showed many precious photos of her, including the one on the right, from her lifetime
Pictured: A map showing where Mrs. Murphy’s body was found along the Grand Canal Way, also known as Fiona’s Way. The route is named in memory of the missing woman Fiona Pender, of whom there is a memorial in Tullamore
Ashling was strangled while jogging down a canal path in Tullamore on the evening of January 12, while her body was found the same day.
According to police, the 23-year-old, an elementary school teacher and talented musician, tried to fend off her attacker with a set of keys before she was killed.
Mrs. Murphy came from a highly respected family in the local area well known in the music scene, and lives outside of Tullamore
Detectives issued a call for information, including to hospitals, telling doctors to watch out for anyone who arrived with “suspicious” injuries.
That led them to a ward in Dublin, where a man had presented himself on Thursday with stab wounds he said had been inflicted during a fight in the west of the city.
Officers, who believe some of the wounds were self-inflicted, questioned the man and arrested him on Tuesday as their prime suspect.
The arrest came on the same day as Ashling’s funeral, with police saying their hand had been forced as the man had been fired and they feared losing him.
Prior to his arrest, the man had spent five nights in hospital in Dublin, where he was being treated for injuries to his hands and face – which police believe were self-inflicted.
A relative took the man to hospital last week for treatment for stab wounds he claimed suffered during a fight in west Dublin. Police were then alerted after warning hospitals to watch out for anyone who arrived with ‘suspicious’ injuries.
Mourners walked beside the hearse containing Ashling Murphy’s casket as the procession arrived for her funeral at St. Brigid’s Church
Students from Ashling Murphy’s class hold photographs and red roses during Ashling Murphy’s funeral at St. Brigid’s Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022
Relatives put their hands on the coffin as it is carried from St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly
Mother and sister of the late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was killed while jogging, arrive for her funeral at St Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland, January 18, 2022
Detectives continue to gather evidence to build their case and are believed to be taking DNA samples from the suspect to see if they match DNA found at the scene of the attack.
It comes after police revealed Ashling used a set of keys to try to fend off her attacker before she was killed.
The officers also allegedly seized cars and phones related to the suspect and searched his home.
Detectives are still looking for a weapon used in Ashling’s murder, and have searched the canal where she died and seized a nearby bottle bank where they suspect it was hidden.
Gardaí also seized a taxi they say was used to transport the suspect from County Offaly to Dublin in the hours after last Wednesday’s murder.
The taxi drove from Dublin to Tullamore to pick up the suspect, Gardai believes. The arrest of the suspect — the second in this case that has horrified the nation — was confirmed by gardaí shortly after hundreds of mourners attended Ashling’s funeral mass yesterday.
Police investigating the murder of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy attempt to identify a mysterious man seen near the site of the 23-year-old’s murder. According to Gardaí, at the time of the attack, the suspected killer was wearing a dark tracksuit without a hood and black sweatpants with a large, distinctive white stripe (Photo: CCTV Photo)
Her heartbroken boyfriend, Ryan Casey, told mourners at her grave that Ashling is “the greatest love of my life.”
He said: ‘I will cherish all my life the last five years we have spent together. I hope that one day, God willing, we can be reunited again and continue the great plans we had made for each other.
“Goodbye for now, but not forever, dear. Ashling will live on in all our hearts.”
Meanwhile, a specialized team forensically investigates the taxi that is said to have transported the suspect to Dublin.
It is one of two cars the suspect may have traveled in before showing up at a Dublin hospital. The other car, which was also seized in Dublin, is also being forensically examined.