Man charged with Ashling Murphy murder will not be tried until June 2023

The man accused of the murder of young schoolteacher Ashling Murphy will not stand trial until June 2023 – more than 17 months after the shocking killing took place in Tullamore.

Jozef Puska, a Slovakian national with an address at Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co Offaly, is charged with murdering the 23-year-old at Cappincur, Tullamore on the afternoon of January 12th, 2022.

The 31-year-old man will go on trial at the Central Criminal Court in June next year.

Ms Murphy, a talented traditional musician and popular teacher, died after being assaulted while she was out jogging along the Grand Canal in Tullamore in broad daylight. Defence counsel Rebecca Smith BL told Mr Justice Paul McDermott today that her client Mr Puska was appearing by way of video-link.

She said that a Slovakian interpreter was present for the hearing and that the defence required a Slovakian interpreter for all court dates going forward. Mr Justice McDermott set June 6th, 2023 as the date for the trial before a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

The case is expected to last between three and four weeks. Free legal aid was also granted to include representation of junior and senior counsel at the trial.

Teacher Ashling Murphy was 23 years old and a highly-regarded traditional musician from a musical family, having performed with Comhaltas and at the Tullamore Trad Fest. She often performed with her sister or other family members.

She was killed as she jogged on a popular canal towpath at 4pm in the afternoon.

The young teacher trained at Limerick’s Mary Immaculate College in August, 2017. A member of Ballyboy Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the talented fiddle player also tutored students of traditional music.

In one of her posts on Facebook, Ashling has said she was happiest when playing music with her sister Amy, also an accomplished musician.

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