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Building profile Gardaí in Ashling Murphy murder case appeal for information on man in black tracksuit

It is 'very possible' that the suspect will be arrested today

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Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

Gardaí are building a profile of the suspect in the Ashling Murphy murder case and have appealed for information from the public about a man seen in a black tracksuit.

Detectives are still awaiting the opportunity to question the chief suspect in the murder investigation, who remained in a Dublin hospital last night where he is being treated for apparent self-inflicted injuries and other wounds.

While specialist officers have prepared an “interview strategy” for when the man is deemed medically fit to be spoken to by gardaí, a major investigation continued yesterday in Tullamore, Co Offaly, with three separate crime scenes sealed off.

Senior sources say it is “very possible” that the suspect will be arrested today and detectives have been attempting to gather a profile of the man, who is in his 30s and is the father of a number of children.

Apart from detailed interaction with people well known to him in Ireland, investigations have also involved garda queries to international police agencies. This has been done to determine if the man has a criminal record in other countries where he lived before moving to Ireland.

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A vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy outside Leinster House, Dublin, last week. Photo: Mark Condren

A vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy outside Leinster House, Dublin, last week. Photo: Mark Condren

A vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy outside Leinster House, Dublin, last week. Photo: Mark Condren

 

Yesterday afternoon, gardaí removed a bottle bank from a carpark around one kilometre from the murder scene. The area was sealed off and the bottle bank was taken away for forensic examination.

“An item or items which may be of interest to the investigation team could be contained in the bottle bank. The carpark is covered by CCTV cameras,” a source told the Sunday World.

It is one of just a number of different exhibits that are being forensically examined as part of the investigation.

Gardaí yesterday issued a new appeal for information, this time about “a man 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”.

Officers have gathered CCTV images of this man. Sources say that the suspect in the case was believed to have been in the Grand Canal Way area for a number of hours before Ms Murphy was murdered.

In a statement, a garda spokesman asked if members of the public saw this man walking in the Tullamore area, or if they had given the man a lift on the evening of the murder last Wednesday.

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“Did you notice this man loitering at any location or involved in any activity which drew your attention?” the spokesman asked.

Gardaí say “significant progress” has been made in the case but they are looking for more witnesses to come forward.

“An Garda Síochána are now asking for any member of the public who was on the Grand Canal Way on the morning or afternoon of January 12, 2022 between Digby’s Bridge and Ballycommon to contact the investigation team. Whether you think you saw anything or not, please contact gardaí in Tullamore,” the spokesman said.

“An Garda Síochána continue to appeal for any information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/ green front forks prior to 4pm on Wednesday, January 12, and in the previous days and weeks.”

They urged people in Tullamore to think about last Wednesday after 4pm and “not to confine their thoughts” to the mountain bike.

As photos of a man purported to be the chief suspect continue to be shared on social media, gardaí appealed to the public to stop sharing them. “Not only are they misinformed, inaccurate and dangerous, they are unhelpful to the criminal investigation.”

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