DPP direction  | 

Ashling Murphy murder accused Jozef Puska to face jury trial at Central Criminal Court

Judge Blake remanded Mr Puska in custody to appear before Cloverhill court again on March 23.

Jozef Puska (31)

Eimear Cotter

A man accused of murdering school teacher Ashling Murphy is facing trial by judge and jury in the Central Criminal Court after the DPP formally directed on the charge.

This morning, Jozef Puska (31) made his fifth court appearance via videolink at Cloverhill District Court.

Mr Puska, with an address at Lynally Grove, Tullamore, Co Offaly, is charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy (23) at Cappincur, Tullamore.

The 23-year-old was fatally assaulted while out jogging along the grand canal in Tullamore on the afternoon of January 12, 2022.

This morning, Mr Puska was asked to state his name by the court clerk, and this was translated into Slovakian by an interpreter.

The request was repeated three times before Mr Puska confirmed his name to the court.

Judge Victor Blake said "good morning" to the accused and the interpreter.

Sergeant Olwyn Murphy said that DPP's directions were available, and the DPP had directed trial on indictment in the Central Criminal Court on the charge.

Ashling Murphy

Judge Blake asked solicitor Eoin Lysaght if the accused was willing to consent to a four week adjournment in custody for the preparation of the book of evidence.

Mr Lysaght said there was only consent for two weeks, saying that Mr Puska had been in custody for some time.

Judge Blake said he believed the State was moving pretty rapidly and he noted the significance of the charge.

Mr Lysaght also asked the judge to direct that the book of evidence be translated into Slovakian.

Judge Blake said that this can be done when the book was ready.

Judge Blake remanded Mr Puska in custody to appear before Cloverhill court again on March 23.

The judge also said that an interpreter would be required on the next date.

Mr Puska was originally brought before a special late night sitting of Tullamore district court in January charged with the teacher's murder.

Ms Murphy, a talented traditional Irish musician and graduate from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, was from the townland of Blueball, just outside Tullamore and was a teacher at Durrow National School.

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