Primary school teacher, 22, beaten to death while jogging in ‘horrific’ attack

A young primary school teacher has been beaten to death while jogging at a popular walking spot.

Ashling Murphy, 22, was running alongside the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Ireland, at around 4pm yesterday when she was brutally attacked.

An Eastern European man in his 40s is reported to have been arrested.

Two women apparently witnessed part of the attack, and saw the suspect flee the scene. He was detained shortly afterwards.

Superintendent Eamonn Curley told reporters: "The area where the crime occurred is popular among Tullamore residents and is widely used for recreational purposes.

"The victim of this crime is Ashling Murphy.

"Ashling was a schoolteacher in Durrow National School. Our prayers are with Ashling's family at this time and indeed the wider community, her teaching colleagues and the children she taught who are without their teacher today.

'Immediately following the discovery of this crime, a full-scale murder investigation was launched."

A police source stated: "A man is in custody but more people who saw elements of the attack, or either the victim or the suspect before or after this terrible crime, are now being urgently sought, as we continue to question the suspect.

"We are building a case but the more witnesses we have the better chance we have of getting a swift conclusion to this crime."

School principal James Hogan said: "No school, or anyone at any stage, should be expecting something like this tragic, horrific incident.

"The staff, the parents and pupils here and in the wider community are devastated, and words cannot describe how we feel.

"Ashling was a character. Her smile, her shining light, her personality would gleam anywhere she would go. She was a fantastic teacher, the kids loved her, idolised her.

“She was an exceptionally talented sports person and traditional Irish musician.

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“She had so much going for [her] and it's devastating to think that has been taken away from her.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee tweeted: "My thoughts tonight are with the family of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime, with her friends and with her community.

"Please, anyone with information, come forward. The Gardai will investigate this awful crime and ensure justice is done."

A vigil will take place in the town on Kildare Street at 4pm on Friday.

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