Detectives wait to talk to 'person of interest' in Ashling Murphy murder probe

Detectives wait to talk to 'person of interest' in Ashling Murphy murder probe

A Garda repositions flowers amongst candles which were left outside Dáil Eireann in Dublin. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Gardaí have to wait a number of days before they can attempt to talk to a man in connection with the murder of Ashling Murphy.

The man, who is currently in hospital, is being treated by officers as a “person of interest” in relation to Wednesday’s attack along the Grand Canal in Tullamore.

The Irish Examiner understands garda interest in this man is linked to a distinctive bicycle that gardaí suspect may have been used at some stage on Wednesday by Ms Murphy’s assailant.

A picture of Ashling Murphy held at a vigil at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin.
A picture of Ashling Murphy held at a vigil at Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin.

Sources explain there is a “lot of work to do” before the man can be considered a suspect, pointing out that gardaí must have a reasonable suspicion before they can make an arrest.

The investigation is “moving at pace”, gardaí say, following the sudden release late on Thursday night of an initial suspect after various inquiries found that he could not have been involved in the murder.

Gardaí are confident they have good eyewitness descriptions of the killer and have significant forensic material from him at the murder scene.

Murdered school teacher Ashling Murphy's family comfort one another near the scene of her murder.(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Murdered school teacher Ashling Murphy's family comfort one another near the scene of her murder.(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

After making their appeals, information was provided to gardaí that another woman had seen a man acting suspiciously in the area hours before the murder - information described as important to the team.

A statement from Garda HQ said they had made “significant progress” in their investigation.

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