Jozef Puska: Man appears in court charged with murder of Ashling Murphy

Suspect remanded in custody as another man released without charge

Liam James
Thursday 20 January 2022 00:38
Vigils held across Ireland in memory of Ashling Murphy

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy.

Josef Puska was remanded in custody at Cloverhill Prison after a brief hearing.

The 31-year-old was heckled as he was brought from a police car to Tullamore District Court in County Offaly on Wednesday evening.

A second man arrested in the murder investigation has been released without charge.

Ms Murphy, a primary school teacher in her 20s, was killed while jogging by the Grand Canal in Tullamore last Wednesday afternoon.

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

Puska was heckled as police led him to court

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

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

Micheal Martin, the Irish prime minister, attended along with Michael D Higgins, the Irish president.

Mr Martin said he wants a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women.

He said a “sea change in culture and attitude in society” was needed.

“We all know there is no single solution to ending domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. Tackling it requires a multifaceted approach with genuine engagement and partnership.

“We need sufficient supports and services available throughout the country, appropriate legislation, an effective policing response and the culture shift within our society that I referenced earlier.

“I can assure you that this Government is working to achieve these goals, and our focus is fixed.”

Campaigners have said that the Irish government does not have a minister with responsibility for gender-based and domestic violence.

Mary McDermott, chief executive officer at Safe Ireland, which campaigns for women and children’s safety, said the government’s approach to the matter was “fragmented and scattered”.

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