Teacher (23) murdered while jogging in Co Offaly

Teacher (23) murdered while jogging in Co Offaly

A teacher (23) who was yesterday attacked and killed while jogging in Co Offaly has been named locally as Ashling Murphy.

Ms Murphy was attacked while jogging along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur in Tullamore at around 4pm.

Gardaí believe the attack was was random and that Ms Murphy did not know the attacker.

A man in his 40s has been detained in connection with the murder after he fled when two other women came upon the attack.

She had been running along a route known as Fiona's Way, named in memory of missing woman Fiona Pender who was 25 years old when she went missing while pregnant in 1996.

teacher murdered ashling Murphy The canal in Tullamore where teacher Ashling Murphy was attacked and killed yesterday afternoon. (image: Google Maps)

Investigators believe people were in the area at the time and are asking anybody who may have witnessed the crime to come forward.

The man who was arrested was known to Gardaí, RTÉ reports, and it is understood that he lived and worked in the area for a number of years.

He is being held in Tullamore Garda station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984, where he can be interviewed for up to 24 hours without charge.

A local councillor Declan Harvey told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that Ashling taught at Durrow National School, also known as Scoil Naomh Colmcille.

There has been an outpouring of grief on social media since the attack.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said her thoughts were with Ashling's family last night, and urged people with information to come forward to Gardaí.

Minister for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan also tweeted to say the issue of violent acts such as this need to be addressed.

Local TD Barry Cowen said the locality of Tullamore is "stunned and numbed".

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation also paid their respects to Ms Murphy.

"We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ashling Murphy, he colleagues and pupils at Scoil Naomh Colmcille and all who knew her," it said in a statement.

"For such an appalling tragedy to befall a young woman, who only recently began her teaching career, adds to the profound sense of loss and grief.