Man remanded in custody charged with murder of Ashling Murphy

Jozef Puska appeared at a special sitting of Tullamore District Court on Wednesday evening charged with the school teacher’s murder.

Cate McCurry
Wednesday 19 January 2022 21:18
Jozef Puska is led into Tullamore District Court, where he was charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy (Brian Lawless/PA)
Jozef Puska is led into Tullamore District Court, where he was charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy (Brian Lawless/PA)

A man has been remanded in custody after being charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy

Jozef Puska, 31, of Lynally Grove, Tullamore, Co Offaly, was heckled as he was taken from a Garda car to a special sitting of Tullamore District Court on Wednesday evening.

A large crowd gathered outside the courthouse as he was taken away by gardai.

Ashling Murphy (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann)

Detective Sergeant David Scahill gave evidence of the arrest and charge.

He told the court the accused was charged with murder at 7.42pm on Wednesday.

Det Sgt Scahill told the court that when he was charged with the offence, Puska replied: “No.”

Defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght made an application for legal aid and for the services of an interpreter for the future court appearance.

The court was told that Puska, who was wearing a grey jumper and grey tracksuit bottoms, is a Slovakian national.

Jozef Puska is led to a Garda van (Brian Lawless/PA)

A statement of his means was provided to the court during the brief hearing.

District Judge Catherine Staines remanded Puska in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on January 26.

A number of family members stood in court with framed pictures of Ms Murphy.

A second man, arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939, has been released without charge.

A file is to be prepared for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A vigil for Ashling Murphy at Leinster House, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

The body of Ms Murphy, a talented musician and teacher, was found on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore on Wednesday January 12.

A crowd of around 40 people walked along the canal on Wednesday 19, close to where her body was found, to mark a week since her death.

On Tuesday, large crowds gathered in the village of Mountbolus and outside St Brigid’s Church where her funeral was held.

Mourners included Irish President Michael D Higgins and premier Micheal Martin.

Vigils have been held across Ireland and the world to remember Ms Murphy and to call for a change in tackling gender-based violence.

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