'We didn’t realise how important she was to us': Friends pay tribute to Ashling Murphy

'We didn’t realise how important she was to us': Friends pay tribute to Ashling Murphy

Floral tributes left near to the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly, where Aisling Murphy was murdered on Wednesday evening. Ashling died after being attacked while she was jogging along the canal bank at Cappincur at around 4pm on Wednesday. Picture date: Friday January 14, 2022.

Ashling Murphy’s remains are being returned to her grieving family today at their home in Tullamore, a house that had been so full of music and light throughout her short life.

Ms Murphy’s killer is still at large, leaving the local community in Tullamore fearful that he may strike again.

A 40-year-old man who had been arrested in connection with her death was released from custody last night. He is no longer a suspect and has been eliminated from Garda enquiries, gardaí said.

Investigating Gardaí are renewing their appeal for information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/ green front forks.

Gardaí investigating the murder of Ahsling Murphy are appealing for anyone with information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/green front forks
Gardaí investigating the murder of Ahsling Murphy are appealing for anyone with information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/green front forks

The 23-year-old primary school teacher, talented fiddle player, and dedicated camogie player has been widely described as kind, hard-working, much-loved and beautiful.

Her death has sent shockwaves throughout the country and sparked angry calls for an end to violence against women.

Ms Murphy was attacked in broad daylight on a bright Wednesday afternoon at 4pm.

She had gone for a jog shortly after she finished work at 3pm on Wednesday and was attacked on a usually populous stretch of the canal known as Fiona’s Way, called after Fiona Pender, who disappeared from the area some 25 years ago.

Floral tributes left near to the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly, where Aisling Murphy was murdered on Wednesday evening. Ashling died after being attacked while she was jogging along the canal bank at Cappincur at around 4pm on Wednesday. Picture date: Friday January 14, 2022.
Floral tributes left near to the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly, where Aisling Murphy was murdered on Wednesday evening. Ashling died after being attacked while she was jogging along the canal bank at Cappincur at around 4pm on Wednesday. Picture date: Friday January 14, 2022.

Paddy Buckley, family friend and chairperson of Ms Murphy’s local Ballyboy Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann attended a wake for Ms Murphy last night.

“It’s a scary world we’re living in today,” he said.

“The most important thing now is to get this person. It’s crucially important for the safety of women. There’s a murderer out there and we need to get him.” 

He said that the Murphy family is “completely shattered.” 

“It’s impossible to get your mind around it,” he said.

“It’s devastating. She made such an impression on us all when she was alive. We didn’t realise during her short life how important she was to us. She was a mentor, a friend, a musician.

It’s only when she passed away that you really recognise all those things. We maybe took it for granted when she was here.” 

Funeral arrangements are expected to be issued later today and vigils are being held all over the country to remember Ms Murphy.

A vigil in Tullamore’s Lloyd Town Park took place from 4pm to 5pm today. 

At 7pm, another vigil will be held in Ms Murphy’s local GAA grounds in Mountbolus where a priest is to give a vigil, local musicians will play and a minute’s silence will be held for her.

And tomorrow at 4pm, local musicians will assemble in the schoolyard at the primary school in her hometown of Ballyboy, a small rural village outside Tullamore.

Micheal Buckley, Chairperson of Offaly Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann who knew Ms Murphy said: “There’s lot of disappointment that the wrong person was taken in.

"There’s a big sense of shock that the killer is still at large. It’s confusing and upsetting for people that this has happened.

"But we hope that the proper person will be apprehended and brought to justice soon.”

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