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BREAKTHROUGH Gardai arrest chief suspect over murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore

The suspect had been in hospital since Thursday

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Ashling Murphy who was killed while jogging along a canal bank in Tullamore pictured on her Graduation Day. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Ashling Murphy who was killed while jogging along a canal bank in Tullamore pictured on her Graduation Day. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Ashling Murphy who was killed while jogging along a canal bank in Tullamore pictured on her Graduation Day. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Gardai have arrested a man in relation to the murder of primary school teacher Ashling Murphy as she jogged in Co Offaly last week.

The suspect was arrested by detectives at a Dublin hospital at around 11.30am and arrived at Tullamore Garda Station shortly before 1pm.

He will be interviewed there by specialist officers.

The suspect had been in hospital since Thursday being treated for a number of injuries some of which are suspected of being self inflicted.

He can be detained at Tullamore Garda Station for 24 hours excluding periods required for rest or medical treatment.

The man, aged in his 30s, had lived in the Tullamore area with his family for a number of years.

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Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

He had also lived in other European countries before coming to Ireland.

A property linked to the suspect near Tullamore was sealed off at the weekend and searched by gardai.

Another house in Crumlin in south Dublin was sealed off and searched by gardai on Friday.

Officers have spoken to a number of family members and close associates of the suspect.

Apart from detailed interaction with people well known to him here, gardai have made enquiries with international police agencies to determine if he has a criminal record in other countries which he lived in before moving to Ireland.

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Gardai continue to appeal for information about the murder including about “a man dressed in black tracksuit top (no hood), black tracksuit bottoms with a large white stripe or white writing on the side and black runners.”

Officers have already gathered CCTV images of this man and sources say that it is suspected that he was in the Grand Canal area for a number of hours before Ashling was murdered.

The suspect has also been linked to a Falcon Storm mountain bike which gardai continue to appeal for information about.

Ashling (23) was laid to rest this morning following a funeral mass attended by her heartbroken family and State dignitaries including President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheal Martin.

Ashling was murdered on January 12 while exercising along a popular walkway in broad daylight.

The 23-year-old had been jogging along a stretch of the Grand Canal, known as Fiona’s Way in memory of missing woman Fiona Pender.

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