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A 31-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy.
Jozef Puska appeared at a special sitting of the court in Tullamore, County Offaly this evening.
Puska is accused of murdering the 23-year-old Murphy as she was out running beside a canal in the town at around 4pm last Wednesday.
A second man in his 30s was arrested yesterday but has been released without charge.
Mr Puska was remanded in custody for a week and was charged at Tullamore District Court.
Gardaí will now prepare a file for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Just now: Murder-accused Josef Puska emerges from court to a large crowd of locals. He has been led away by gardai. pic.twitter.com/NXtdmvqMOt— Paul Healy (@Healyhack) January 19, 2022
A Garda statement yesterday confirmed that Puska’s arrest was in connection with Murphy’s murder.
The statement read: “Gardaí investigating the fatal assault on Ashling Murphy that occurred at approximately 4pm on Wednesday, 12 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. An Garda Síochána has no further comment at this time.”
Judge Catherine Staines remanded Mr Puska and he will remain in custody before he appears again at Clover Hill District Court on 26 January.
In the court, a Garda detective sergeant provided the evidence of Puska’s arrest, charge, and caution.
When the charge was put to the defendant, he said ‘no’.
His defence counsel has applied for free legal aid, as well as requesting the services of an interpreter at future appearances and proceedings. Mr Puska is a Slovakian national.
Large crowds had gathered at vigils around Ireland and beyond after the news of Murphy’s death caused shock and widespread anger.
Yesterday, large crowds gathered outside St Brigid’s Church in the village of Mountbolus where her funeral service took place.
Mourners at that service included the President of the Republic of Ireland Michael D Higgins and the Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
Murphy was described as ‘woman who lived the short years given to her to the full, who developed her talents, who reached out to others, who made a difference, who brought happiness and who was loved’.
The entire nation observed a minute of silence at 11am in tribute to Ms Murphy, and her students from Durrow National School formed a guard of honour for her coffin.
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