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Irish police have arrested a man on suspicion of murdering Ashling Murphy, just hours after the 23-year-old schoolteacher’s funeral took place earlier today.

A gardai statement on the arrest said the man, who is a Slovakian father of three in his 30s, was detained after being discharged from a Dublin hospital where he checked in last week with multiple wounds to his hand and face.

The man had previously been earmarked as a potential suspect as gardai believed his injuries could have come as a result of Ashling’s attempts to defend herself. 

Garda sources told the Irish examiner they have a ‘huge amount’ of evidence to suggest the man committed the murder, including DNA and fingerprint evidence, CCTV images, and eye witness accounts.

Bishop of Meath Tom Deenihan told mourners at the funeral that the murder of the 23-year-old woman was ‘a depraved act of violence’ which has ‘asked questions of ourselves and of society’. 

Schools across Ireland held a minute’s silence today at 11am as a funeral took place for the murdered teacher.

Pupils from the 23-year-old’s primary school class held images of Ms Murphy outside St. Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus, where her coffin was taken for requiem mass this morning before the burial.  

The message next to Ms Murphy’s image read: ‘Fly high in the sky, Our shining light.’ 

Heartbroken pupils were joined by large crowds who congregated outside the church to pay their respects to the tragic teacher. 

Irish president Michael D Higgins and Irish premier Micheal Martin were among those in attendance alongside Ms Murphy’s parents Raymond and Kathleen, siblings Amy and Cathal, and her boyfriend Ryan.

Ms Murphy was killed on Wednesday last week while jogging along the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly. A post-mortem examination revealed she was strangled to death. 

Parents, siblings and the boyfriend of the late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, stood arm in arm and followed behind the hearse carrying her casket after the funeral service at St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus earlier today

Parents, siblings and the boyfriend of the late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, stood arm in arm and followed behind the hearse carrying her casket after the funeral service at St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus earlier today

Parents, siblings and the boyfriend of the late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, stood arm in arm and followed behind the hearse carrying her casket after the funeral service at St Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus earlier today

A large crowd of people fill the street as pupils from Ashling Murphy's class hold photographs of her and red roses ahead of her funeral at St. Brigid's Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022 in Tullamore, Ireland. The murder of the beloved 23 year old school teacher has caused widespread anger and shock in Ireland, with tens of thousands of people attending vigils in recent days

A large crowd of people fill the street as pupils from Ashling Murphy's class hold photographs of her and red roses ahead of her funeral at St. Brigid's Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022 in Tullamore, Ireland. The murder of the beloved 23 year old school teacher has caused widespread anger and shock in Ireland, with tens of thousands of people attending vigils in recent days

A large crowd of people fill the street as pupils from Ashling Murphy’s class hold photographs of her and red roses ahead of her funeral at St. Brigid’s Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022 in Tullamore, Ireland. The murder of the beloved 23 year old school teacher has caused widespread anger and shock in Ireland, with tens of thousands of people attending vigils in recent days

Boys from Ms Murphy's class looked despondent as they hung their heads and held images of their murdered teacher

Boys from Ms Murphy's class looked despondent as they hung their heads and held images of their murdered teacher

Boys from Ms Murphy’s class looked despondent as they hung their heads and held images of their murdered teacher

Mourners walked beside the hearse carrying the coffin of Ashling Murphy as the cortege arrived for her funeral at St. Brigid's Church

Mourners walked beside the hearse carrying the coffin of Ashling Murphy as the cortege arrived for her funeral at St. Brigid's Church

Mourners walked beside the hearse carrying the coffin of Ashling Murphy as the cortege arrived for her funeral at St. Brigid’s Church

Ashling Murphy was killed last Wednesday. The 23-year-old teacher's funeral took place today and was attended by large crowds who congregated outside the church in Tullamore

Ashling Murphy was killed last Wednesday. The 23-year-old teacher's funeral took place today and was attended by large crowds who congregated outside the church in Tullamore

Ashling Murphy was killed last Wednesday. The 23-year-old teacher’s funeral took place today and was attended by large crowds who congregated outside the church in Tullamore

Family members place their hands on the coffin as it is carried out of St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly

Family members place their hands on the coffin as it is carried out of St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly

Family members place their hands on the coffin as it is carried out of St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly

Ashling Murphy, sister and boyfriend embraced each other in mourning as they arrived for her funeral at St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022

Ashling Murphy, sister and boyfriend embraced each other in mourning as they arrived for her funeral at St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022

Ashling Murphy, sister and boyfriend embraced each other in mourning as they arrived for her funeral at St Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022

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.’

Garda sources said there is nothing to suggest any connection between the man suspected of murder and Ms Murphy, but that gardai are liaising with foreign police forces in an attempt to gather as much information as possible about the man.   

Detectives have already placed the prime suspect in Tullamore at the time of the murder, and gardai were in place at the hospital yesterday as they waited for the hospital to discharge him.

The man’s wife and children left their home outside Tullamore on Friday night and were taken to a place of safety by gardai.

Meanwhile, the funeral’s chief celebrant, priest Fr Michael Meade, told mourners during the service today that symbols from Ashling’s life were being presented in the church, and acknowledged the Murphy family’s ‘raw and fierce pain’.

‘Her faith blossomed into a life of love, a life of hope, a life of trust. That same love and joy was not kept on a shelf or wrapped up – it was freely given and shared through music, through sport, through her vocation as a teacher,’ said Fr Meade.

‘Today we only give thanks for the privilege of knowing and sharing in this most wonderful gift of Ashling Murphy, today we share our love, our grief, our faith and our comfort.’

A family photograph was laid out alongside a jersey from Kilcormac Killoughey, the GAA club Ashling had played for and a hurl, to recall her time spent playing camogie.

A book was also presented to show the primary school teacher’s imparting of ‘so much knowledge and love to so many children’, along with a fiddle to represent her musicianship.

Fr Meade also called for the community to rally around the family, asking for people to ‘simply give and show respect’ to the family, Ashling and all those affected.

Meanwhile, Ashling’s cousin Rachel O’Shea read a prayer calling for ‘an end to violence against women’.

Ashling’s coffin was brought to St. Brigid’s Church this morning, accompanied by a procession of gardai riders on motorbikes. 

A musician reacts during the funeral of late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, outside the St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022.

A musician reacts during the funeral of late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, outside the St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022.

She began to cry while playing at the service but was unable to maintain compsure and was forced to stop as she began sobbing uncontrollably

She began to cry while playing at the service but was unable to maintain compsure and was forced to stop as she began sobbing uncontrollably

A musician reacts during the funeral of late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, outside the St Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022

Pupils from Ashling Murphy's class held photographs of her and red roses outside St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, ahead of the funeral of the schoolteacher who was murdered in Tullamore, Co Offaly last Wednesday

Pupils from Ashling Murphy's class held photographs of her and red roses outside St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, ahead of the funeral of the schoolteacher who was murdered in Tullamore, Co Offaly last Wednesday

Pupils from Ashling Murphy’s class held photographs of her and red roses outside St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, ahead of the funeral of the schoolteacher who was murdered in Tullamore, Co Offaly last Wednesday

A pupil from Ashling Murphy's class holds a photograph and a red rose during Ashling Murphy's funeral at St. Brigid's Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022

A pupil from Ashling Murphy's class holds a photograph and a red rose during Ashling Murphy's funeral at St. Brigid's Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022

Pupils from Ashling Murphy’s class hold a photographs and a red roses during Ashling Murphy’s funeral at St. Brigid’s Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022

The pupils were joined by large crowds who congregated outside the church to pay their respects as men, women and children turned out to mourn the tragic teacher

The pupils were joined by large crowds who congregated outside the church to pay their respects as men, women and children turned out to mourn the tragic teacher

The pupils were joined by large crowds who congregated outside the church to pay their respects as men, women and children turned out to mourn the tragic teacher

Taoiseach Micheal Martin was in attendance at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, for the funeral of Ashling Murphy

Taoiseach Micheal Martin was in attendance at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, for the funeral of Ashling Murphy

Minister for Education Norma Foley was in attendance at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly

Minister for Education Norma Foley was in attendance at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (L) and Minister for Education Norma Foley were among several government ministers in attendance at St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, for the funeral of Ashling Murphy

(left to right) Government ministers Pippa Hackett, Helen McEntee and Catherine Martin were also in attendance at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus

(left to right) Government ministers Pippa Hackett, Helen McEntee and Catherine Martin were also in attendance at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus

(left to right) Government ministers Pippa Hackett, Helen McEntee and Catherine Martin were also in attendance at St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus

Garda outriders accompanied the hearse as it arrived at St Brigid's Church earlier today

Garda outriders accompanied the hearse as it arrived at St Brigid's Church earlier today

Garda outriders accompanied the hearse as it arrived at St Brigid’s Church earlier today 

Ashling Murphy's father Raymond Murphy and sister Amy Murphy arrive for Ashling's funeral at St. Brigid's church

Ashling Murphy's father Raymond Murphy and sister Amy Murphy arrive for Ashling's funeral at St. Brigid's church

Ashling Murphy’s father Raymond Murphy and sister Amy Murphy arrive for Ashling’s funeral at St. Brigid’s church

Mother and sister of the late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, arrive for her funeral at the St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022

Mother and sister of the late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, arrive for her funeral at the St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022

Mother and sister of the late 23-year-old teacher, Ashling Murphy, who was murdered while out jogging, arrive for her funeral at the St Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus near Tullamore, Ireland January 18, 2022

Crowds watch on as Ashling Muprhy's coffin is carried into St Brigid's Church for the requiem mass

Crowds watch on as Ashling Muprhy's coffin is carried into St Brigid's Church for the requiem mass

Crowds watch on as Ashling Muprhy’s coffin is carried into St Brigid’s Church for the requiem mass

Musicians formed a guard of honour and remained outside St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus during the funeral service. A fiddle was laid out during the service to represent Ashling's musicianship

Musicians formed a guard of honour and remained outside St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus during the funeral service. A fiddle was laid out during the service to represent Ashling's musicianship

Musicians formed a guard of honour and remained outside St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus during the funeral service. A fiddle was laid out during the service to represent Ashling’s musicianship

Mourners of a GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) club also took part in the funeral of the late 23-year-old teacher. A family photograph was laid out alongside a jersey from Kilcormac Killoughey, the GAA club Ashling had played for and a hurl, to recall her time spent playing camogie, during the funeral

Mourners of a GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) club also took part in the funeral of the late 23-year-old teacher. A family photograph was laid out alongside a jersey from Kilcormac Killoughey, the GAA club Ashling had played for and a hurl, to recall her time spent playing camogie, during the funeral

Mourners of a GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) club also took part in the funeral of the late 23-year-old teacher. A family photograph was laid out alongside a jersey from Kilcormac Killoughey, the GAA club Ashling had played for and a hurl, to recall her time spent playing camogie, during the funeral

‘It has questioned our attitudes and, particularly, our attitudes towards women and it has questioned our values and our morality.

‘Whether those questions will be addressed or passed over remains to be seen but we cannot allow such violence and disregard for both human life and bodily integrity take root in our time and culture.’

Screens were set up in Killoughey community centre and Kilcormac/Killoughey GAA pitch to cater for large crowds at the funeral.

Representatives from Ms Murphy’s local Gaelic football club as well as from her old school were in attendance at the parish church of Saint Brigid.

A pupil from Ashling Murphy's class holds a photograph and a red rose during Ashling Murphy's funeral at St. Brigid's Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022

A pupil from Ashling Murphy's class holds a photograph and a red rose during Ashling Murphy's funeral at St. Brigid's Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022

Pupils from Ashling Murphy’s class hold a photographs and a red roses during Ashling Murphy’s funeral at St. Brigid’s Church, County Offaly on January 18, 2022

Schoolchildren provided a guard of honour outside the church prior to the funeral. A number of children also held fiddles and tin whistles.

Ms Murphy’s sister paid tribute to her on social media.

Amy Murphy described Ashling as the ‘light of our lives and the heart of our family’.

The funeral took place as gardaí released a description of her suspected killer for the first time.

Gardaí are planning more checkpoints in Tullamore in coming days to ask the public for information and find anyone who may have helped her killer escape.

According to gardaí, at the time of the attack the suspected killer wore a dark tracksuit with no hood and black tracksuit bottoms with a large, distinctive white stripe.

The description comes from a video of a man on a Falcon Storm mountain bike that was captured on an apartment block CCTV camera close to the time of the murder and matches a description offered by one of two women who witnessed the killing.

A still from the CCTV has been circulating online since Thursday last week and was confirmed as authentic by a man who was interrogated about the killing before being eliminated from the investigation.  

An Garda Síochána set up checkpoints on the two bypasses outside Tullamore appealing for information on anyone who may have driven the suspect to the town’s train station, or to Dublin, in the hours after the murder.

Police probing the murder of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy are trying to identify a mystery man who was seen cycling near to where the 23-year-old was killed. According to gardaí, at the time of the attack the suspected killer wore a dark tracksuit with no hood and black tracksuit bottoms with a large, distinctive white stripe (pictured: CCTV still)

Police probing the murder of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy are trying to identify a mystery man who was seen cycling near to where the 23-year-old was killed. According to gardaí, at the time of the attack the suspected killer wore a dark tracksuit with no hood and black tracksuit bottoms with a large, distinctive white stripe (pictured: CCTV still)

Police probing the murder of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy are trying to identify a mystery man who was seen cycling near to where the 23-year-old was killed. According to gardaí, at the time of the attack the suspected killer wore a dark tracksuit with no hood and black tracksuit bottoms with a large, distinctive white stripe (pictured: CCTV still)

Ashling Murphy's mother, sister, and brother, linked arms and walked along the bank of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly on Jan 14 during a vigil for the murdered teacher

Ashling Murphy's mother, sister, and brother, linked arms and walked along the bank of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly on Jan 14 during a vigil for the murdered teacher

Ashling Murphy’s mother, sister, and brother, linked arms and walked along the bank of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly on Jan 14 during a vigil for the murdered teacher

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy - Saturday January 15, 2022

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy - Saturday January 15, 2022

People hold a vigil outside the London Irish Centre in Camden in memory of murdered primary school teacher 23-year-old Ashling Murphy – Saturday January 15, 2022

Gardaí spoke with a taxi dispatcher who said yesterday that the Garda questions were focused on one named suspect, who was known to the taxi company. The man appeared in Dublin in the hours after the murder and was admitted to a Dublin hospital with cuts and bruises to his body, for which he has yet to offer an explanation.

A source close to the case said that gardaí are examining the possibility that Ashling tried to fight off her killer with keys she was carrying when she went jogging after work last Wednesday.

Radu Floricel, who was wrongly suspected by gardaí in the first 24 hours of the investigation, confirmed to the Irish Daily Mail that a still we showed him of a cyclist wearing dark tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe is from a video of the suspected killer that was repeatedly shown to him when he was being questioned in Tullamore Garda Station.

Mr Floricel was released last Thursday and gardaí released a statement confirming that he was no longer a suspect.

Hundreds attended a vigil and walk to remember 23-year-old Ashling Murphy in Kinsale on Saturday. Candles were lit in the town park and the many attendees walked silently around the town

Hundreds attended a vigil and walk to remember 23-year-old Ashling Murphy in Kinsale on Saturday. Candles were lit in the town park and the many attendees walked silently around the town

Hundreds attended a vigil and walk to remember 23-year-old Ashling Murphy in Kinsale on Saturday. Candles were lit in the town park and the many attendees walked silently around the town

A search of the current suspect’s home continued for a fourth day yesterday in what has turned out to be one of the largest murder investigations in the State’s history. The man is father to a number of children who live with him in the house.

Gardaí are now liaising with police in his home country to check if he has a criminal record. On Sunday, the Mail observed seven gardaí in forensic suits removing possessions from the home, while three plain-clothes gardaí and a uniformed officer conferred with them.

The huge search operation is taking place at the man’s family home in an Offaly village where he and his family moved after initially living in Tullamore.

Gardaí have also removed a bottle bank on the Daingean Road in Tullamore where they believe the suspect may have dumped either clothing or a knife after the killing. Gardaí sealed off seven other bottle banks at the site, which is monitored by a CCTV camera. 

Ms Murphy came from a highly respected family in the local area that is well known in the music scene, and live outside Tullamore

Ms Murphy came from a highly respected family in the local area that is well known in the music scene, and live outside Tullamore

Ms Murphy came from a highly respected family in the local area that is well known in the music scene, and live outside Tullamore

Pictured: A map showing where Ms Murphy's body was found along the Grand Canal way, also known as Fiona's Way. The route is named in memory of missing woman Fiona Pender, of whom there is a monument to in Tullamore

Pictured: A map showing where Ms Murphy's body was found along the Grand Canal way, also known as Fiona's Way. The route is named in memory of missing woman Fiona Pender, of whom there is a monument to in Tullamore

Pictured: A map showing where Ms Murphy’s body was found along the Grand Canal way, also known as Fiona’s Way. The route is named in memory of missing woman Fiona Pender, of whom there is a monument to in Tullamore

A Garda talks to a rambler by the floral tributes laid at the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found dead after going for a run on Wednesday afternoon. Picture date: Monday January 17, 2022

A Garda talks to a rambler by the floral tributes laid at the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found dead after going for a run on Wednesday afternoon. Picture date: Monday January 17, 2022

A Garda talks to a rambler by the floral tributes laid at the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found dead after going for a run on Wednesday afternoon. Picture date: Monday January 17, 2022

In a renewed appeal, gardaí asked Tullamore residents to come forward if they noticed a man dressed in a black tracksuit top with no hood, black tracksuit bottoms with a large white stripe or white writing on the side and black runners.

Gardaí are still looking for information about the bicycle, which has straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/green front forks.

A statement from An Garda Síochána added that the force ‘continues to be concerned’ about the activity of persons sharing information on social media and, in particular, private messaging apps.

An Garda Síochána said it ‘appeals to everyone to STOP sharing these messages’, adding: ‘Not only are they misinformed, inaccurate and dangerous, they are unhelpful to the criminal investigation. If you have information which is relevant to this criminal investigation, you should contact the investigation team at Tullamore Garda Station.’

The funeral of the 23-year-old primary school teacher is due to take place in Mountbolus, near Tullamore, this morning.

Teacher unions have asked that all schools across the country observe a minute’s silence when the tragic victim’s funeral begins at 11am today. 

Rosary was said for her at 8pm.

Her coffin arrived at St. Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus, for Requiem Mass at 11am.

Fr Michael Meade, parish priest of Kilcormac and Killoughney, is the chief celebrant.

The burial will take place in Lowertown Cemetery, Mountbolus.

Unions including Fòrsa, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland have urged schools and colleges to observe the minute’s silence.

They said in a joint statement: ‘We are encouraging schools to fall silent to remember a beloved primary school teacher, taken far too soon and show our solidarity with her friends, family, colleagues and pupils as Ashling is laid to rest.’

Source: dailymail

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