Gardaí arrest man in Ashling Murphy murder probe

Gardaí arrest man in Ashling Murphy murder probe

A man has been arrested today for questioning in connection with the murder of school teacher Ashling Murphy. 

Gardaí have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Ashling Murphy.

The arrest took place as the man was discharged from hospital, where he had been treated for significant and suspicious injuries.

He is now in garda custody under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and is being questioned on suspicion of the murder of the 23-year-old teacher.

He can be held for up to 24 hours, excluding sleep breaks.

A Garda statement said: “Gardaí investigating the fatal assault on Ashling Murphy that occurred at approximately 4pm on Wednesday, 12th January, 2022, along the canal bank at Cappincur, Tullamore, County Offaly have arrested a male in his 30s on suspicion of murder.

“The male is now detained in Tullamore Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.” 

Ms Murphy was murdered as she went for a jog along the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore.

Gardaí have been monitoring the suspect’s status at a Dublin hospital after he presented himself last Thursday with multiple wounds.

It is understood gardaí would have preferred to carry out the arrest on another day and not to do so on the day of Ms Murphy’s funeral.

But given his injuries had been treated and had been deemed fit to be discharged, gardaí felt they had no option but to arrest him.

Garda sources said they have a “huge amount” of evidence to put to the man, who is aged in his 30s and has a partner and a number of children.

The evidence includes DNA evidence, fingerprint evidence, CCTV images, eye witness accounts and other technical evidence.

Sources said they will need the time allowed under the act, unless anything the suspect says changes that.

Gardaí said they’ve had a “strong response” from the public to the various appeals for information they've sent out.

This includes a good response to the appeal on Monday for information about sightings of a man dressed in a black tracksuit.

Examinations will take place to determine the nature of the wounds suffered by the suspect and what could have caused them.

It is understood gardaí have already secured samples of his DNA from the hospital, on foot of a court warrant. 

They are also thought to have possession of clothing and medical material linked to him.

At the moment, gardaí have nothing to suggest any connection between the man and Ms Murphy.

Gardaí are liaising with foreign police forces in a bid to gather any records in relation to the man.

It is the second arrest in the investigation, but the first man has been eliminated from garda inquiries and is not a suspect.

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