Man accused of murdering Ashling Murphy to go on trial in June

Jozef Puska charged with murdering school teacher after fatal assault in Tullamore

A 31-year-old man accused of murdering school teacher Ashling Murphy in Tullamore will go on trial at the Central Criminal Court in June next year.

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

Ms Murphy was fatally assaulted while she was out jogging along the Grand Canal in Tullamore.

Defence counsel Rebecca Smith BL told Mr Justice Paul McDermott on Monday that she was led by senior counsel Sean Gillane in the case and that her client Mr Puska was appearing by way of videolink.

Ms Smith said there was a Slovakian interpreter in court and a trial date was required for Mr Puska. She also informed the court that the defence required a Slovakian interpreter for all court dates going forward.

Mr Justice McDermott set June 6th, 2023 as the date for Mr Puska’s trial before a jury at the Central Criminal Court. The case is expected to last between three and four weeks.

The judge said all disclosure was to be made within four months of that date.

The Slovakian national appeared via video-link for today’s brief hearing and he was remanded in custody until that date.

On April 6th, Mr Puska was sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court after being served with the book of evidence. Free legal aid was also granted to include representation of junior and senior counsel at the trial.

Ms Murphy, a talented traditional Irish musician and recent graduate from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, was working as a teacher at Durrow National School at the time of her death.