Jozef Puska has been charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy.
The 31-year-old was brought before a special sitting of Tullamore District Court at 8.15pm this evening.
Ashling, a 23-year-old primary school teacher, was jogging along the Royal Canal in Tullamore, Co. Offaly last Wednesday when she was murdered in broad daylight.
Crowds waiting for murder accused Jozef Puska to leave Tullamore court. pic.twitter.com/5sff0hCLKd
— Garreth MacNamee (@garmacnamee) January 19, 2022
Judge Catherine Staines remanded Jozef Puska in custody, and he’s scheduled to appear at Clover Hill District Court on January 26.
A large crowd gathered outside Tullamore District Court this evening, as the accused was lead away by Gardaí.
There has been an outpour of anger and devastation over Ashling’s murder over the past few days, as it has highlighted male violence against women in Ireland, and the danger women face on a daily basis.
Last week, thousands of people attended vigils across Ireland to pay their respects to Ashling, and to support all those who knew and loved her.
Her funeral took place at St. Brigid’s Church in Mountbolus on Tuesday, which was attended by President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, who offered their condolences to Ashling’s parents Raymond and Kathleen, sister Amy, brother Cathal and boyfriend Ryan.
During the service, Bishop Tom Deenihan described the days since Ashling’s murder last Wednesday as a “nightmare”.
He said: “A walk on a mild and sunny afternoon in January should be a happy event, promising the brighter and warmer days of spring and summer. That, as we know, was not the case.”
“A depraved act of violence which deprived a kind, talented, loved and admired young woman of her life has since united the country in grief and support.”
“The crime has also asked questions of ourselves and of society. Whether those questions will be addressed or passed over remains to be seen but we cannot allow such violence and disregard for both human life and bodily integrity take root in our time and culture.”
“Pope Francis in his homily for New Year’s Day just two weeks ago said that violence against women was an insult to God.”
Bishop Deenihan said “respect” was missing on the day of Ashling’s murder, but it has “re-emerged here all the stronger”.
He said the support and sympathy showed by the nation in the wake of this tragedy was a “a chink of light to last week’s darkness”.
“It was manifested at the various vigils, it was manifested by those who assisted here, at the family home and in Durrow school over the past few days by those who quietly and discreetly provided refreshments, stewarding and whatever help that they could.”
“Community is important and community works,” he added.
Bishop Deenihan described Ashling was a woman who lived “the short years given to her to the full, who developed her talents, who reached out to others, who made a difference, who brought happiness and who was loved”.
Fr Michael Meade said: “Together we grieve, we pray, we hurt – this is the heavy price we pay for love – we gather as a family of faith, to be with, to support by our prayer and our presence, those whose darkness is deep, whose pain is raw and fierce.”
“The issues raised in many ways and by many voices since this horrible act of violence invaded all our lives will, we pray, continue to evolve and bring the change we need so much, to simply give and show respect.”
“Today we give thanks for the privilege of sharing in this most wonderful gift of Ashling Murphy, today we share our love, our grief, our faith and our comfort with the Murphy and Leonard families.”
The Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline is 1800 341 900. For help and support you can also log onto www.womensaid.ie.