'Talented' teacher, 23, brutally murdered while out jogging

·3-min read

A 23-year-old school teacher was fatally attacked by a man not known to her while she was on an afternoon run in Ireland on Wednesday.

Gardaí, the Irish Police, confirmed the death of a woman aged in her 20s, following an attack on Wednesday at around 4pm along a canal bank at Cappincur, Tullamore about 100km west of the capital Dublin.

The woman died at the scene.

The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Ashling Murphy, a school teacher at Durrow National School.

Police confirmed a man aged in his 40s has been arrested in connection with the incident and said he was being detained at Tullamore Garda Station.

Teacher Ashling Murphy, 23, was killed on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur. Source: PA via AAP
Teacher Ashling Murphy, 23, was killed on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur in Ireland. Source: PA via AAP

According to the Irish Times, the principal of Durrow National School, James Hogan, told RTE the school community was devastated and staff cried when they were briefed about her death.

“She was one in a million," Mr Hogan said. 

"It’s heart-breaking that it was all taken from her.”

Ms Murphy started at the school in March 2021, however Mr Hogan said she made a "huge impact" during her time there.

In addition to being a teacher, Ms Murphy was a member of the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland.

Comhaltas, a traditional Irish music preservation group, said Ms Murphy was "exceptionally talented".

Murdered teacher Ashling Murphy pictured playing the violin. Source: Facebook/Portarlington Comhaltas
Murdered teacher Ashling Murphy has been described as a talent musician, who was beloved by community. Source: Facebook/Portarlington Comhaltas

"We know that she and her family are at the heart of her local community. She was a much-loved school teacher and had so much to offer in so many ways," the group wrote on Facebook.

"The brutal manner of her death – in the middle of the day – as she jogged by the banks of the peaceful canal in Tullamore has left us numbed and bewildered. 

"The suffering of her family at the loss of such a young and beautiful person is beyond understanding. We share their grief with them and we will always remember Ashling as one who enriched our lives with her warm personality; uplifting music-making; compassionate, outgoing and generous friendship."

Picture shows Floral tributes at a vigil attended by hundreds in Galway city centre for Ashling Murphy, a young woman who was murdered in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Issue date: Thursday January 13, 2022..
Ashling Murphy was killed while she was jogging along the canal bank at Cappincur at around 4pm on Wednesday. Source: PA via AAP

Attack happened on teacher's regular route

More than 50 officers have been tasked with investigating Ms Murphy's murder.

"No stone will be left unturned in bringing the perpetrator of this crime to justice," Supt Eamonn Curley said, the BBC reported.

RTE reported the attack happened on a route where Ms Murphy regularly exercised and the attacker fled after two other women came to the scene.

People near to the scene in Tullamore, Co Offaly, after Ashling Murphy, a primary school teacher aged in her 20s, was killed on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur
More than 50 police officers will investigate Ashling Murphy's death. Source: PA via AAP

However, the women provided a detailed description of the attacker to police.

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said the country was devastated by Ms Murphy's murder, calling the killing "violent and barbaric".

"There is no place in our society for violence, particularly violence against women. It cannot and will not be tolerated," he said according to the BBC.

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