Ashling Murphy murder: Gardaí appeal for information on man in black tracksuit

‘Significant progress continues to be made in the investigation,’ Garda statement says

Gardaí investigating the murder of Ashling Murphy have appealed for information on a man dressed in a black tracksuit and say 'significant progress' has been made.

They have urged anyone who saw a man in the Tullamore area on Wednesday dressed in a black tracksuit top (no hood), black tracksuit bottoms with a large white stripe or white writing on the side and black runners to come forward.

They ask if anyone saw this man on Wednesday, gave him a lift or notice him loitering in any location or involved in any activity which drew their attention, to contact them .

The primary school teacher (23) was fatally assaulted while out for a jog along the canal bank at Cappincur, Tullamore, Co Offaly at about 4pm on Wednesday.

"Significant progress continues to be made in the investigation to date. An Garda Síochána is not confirming any specific details for operational reasons," the Garda said in a statement.

It said the scene continues to be examined and remains sealed off as a crime scene.

Gardaí appealed for any member of the public who was on the Grand Canal Way on the morning or afternoon of the January 12th between Digby’s bridge and Ballycommon to contact the investigation team. The Garda continues to appeal for any information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike .

Gardaí urged any person in the general Tullamore area on Wednesday with any form of video footage to contact them

Concern was raised by the Garda d about the sharing of information on private messaging apps and urged people to stop sharing them. “Not only are they misinformed, inaccurate and dangerous, they are unhelpful to the criminal investigation,” it said.

A dedicated phone line 057-9357060 has been established at Tullamore Garda station in order to assist the public in providing information to the investigation team.

Hospital

The Garda investigationis focused heavily on a man being treated for a variety of wounds in a Dublin hospital.

His DNA was being cross-checked against a DNA profile taken from the crime scene and forensic evidence on a mountain bike found there and believed to have been used by the killer.

Garda divers were also searching the Grand Canal yesterday looking for evidence, specifically a weapon.

The suspect for Ms Murphy’s murder, who has a partner and children, has been in hospital since last Thursday night. He had sustained a mix of wounds, some of which are believed to be self-inflicted and serious. The suspect must also be mentally assessed before being interviewed and it was unclear last night when those checks would be completed.

Gardaí went to the Dublin hospital after being alerted by medical staff that a man was being treated for serious injuries he could not satisfactorily explain. When initial checks were made, links to Co Offaly quickly emerged. While the suspect has spoken to gardaí briefly, he has not been arrested.

Ms Murphy's remains are reposing at her family home at Blueball just outside Tullamore. Her remains were due to be removed tomorrow to arrive at St Brigid's Church, Mountbolus, Co Offaly, for requiem Mass at 11am, with burial afterwards in Lowertown Cemetery.

All of the main education and teaching unions have called for a minute’s silence across schools and colleges tomorrow, to honour Ashling’s memory. All schools across the country are being asked to observe a minute’s silence at 11am on Tuesday.