Ashling Murphy: Primary school teacher, 23, beaten to death while out jogging in Ireland

·2-min read
Ashling Murphy was a talented musician. Right, tributes near the spot where she was killed - PA
Ashling Murphy was a talented musician. Right, tributes near the spot where she was killed - PA

A primary school teacher was beaten to death in a random attack while she was jogging along a popular canal bank in Ireland.

Ashling Murphy, 23, was killed on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur in Tullamore, County Offaly.

She was given medical attention but died at the scene after the 4pm attack. A 40-year-old man, reported locally to be a Romanian national, was arrested.

Gardai said "no stone will be left unturned" in bringing her killer to justice and that they did not believe she knew her attacker. Police have appealed for witnesses.

Superintendent Eamonn Curley told reporters on Thursday: "Where the crime occurred, is popular among Tullamore residents and is widely used for recreational purposes.

"At this stage, there is no information that the victim and her killer were known to each other. We believe this crime was committed by one male who acted alone."

He added: "Our prayers are with Ashling's family at this time and indeed the wider community, her teaching colleagues, and the children she taught who are without their teacher today."

Ms Murphy taught 28 seven to eight year-old pupils at Durrow National School and was a member of the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland.

A group of musicians performed at a vigil for Ms Murphy in Galway on Thursday night - PA
A group of musicians performed at a vigil for Ms Murphy in Galway on Thursday night - PA

Her principal James Hogan said she was a "fantastic, beautiful, an extraordinary sportsperson, Irish musician, choral conductor and an inspiration".

Declan Harvey, Fianna Fail councillor for the area, said: "I am devastated. I couldn't sleep last night thinking of it all because it is a place I go all the time.”

The route by the canal is called Fiona's Way, named in memory of a missing woman Fiona Pender.

"She went there jogging, she does it regularly. I am lost for words. Tullamore is probably the safest place in the world, and after yesterday people will be nervous to go down to the canal,” Mr Harvey said.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said: "My thoughts tonight are with the family of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime, with her friends and with her community.”

Minister of State Josepha Madigan for Special Education and Inclusion said: "A young woman can't even go for a run along a canal pathway - at four o'clock, in the middle of the day - only to be attacked and murdered.

"We need to urgently address why we live in a country where this can happen."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting