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Murder charge Jozef Puska (31) said ‘no’ when charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy, court told

He is charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy (23) at Cappincur in Tullamore on January 12 last.

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Josef Puska, front left. Picture: Robin Schiller

Josef Puska, front left. Picture: Robin Schiller

Josef Puska, front left. Picture: Robin Schiller

A 31-year-old man has appeared before a special court sitting charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy.

The schoolteacher was fatally assaulted while out jogging along the Grand Canal in Tullamore on Wednesday of last week.

This evening Jozef Puska, a Slovakian national with an address at Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co Offaly, was brought before a late night sitting of the local district court.

He is charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy (23) at Cappincur in Tullamore on January 12 last.

Det Sgt David Scahill gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution.

The court heard Puska replied “no” when the charge of murder was put to him.

The accused, wearing a grey tracksuit, did not address the court during the brief hearing.

Bail can only be granted for a murder charge by the High Court and Judge Catherine Staines remanded the accused in custody until January 26 to Cloverhill district court.

There was a significant garda presence at the courthouse with a large crowd of onlookers also gathered on the street outside.

A number of people also stood at the back of the court holding pictures of the school teacher during the hearing.

A second man was arrested as part of the investigation earlier today.

The male, aged in his 30s, was questioned at a garda station in the Eastern Region on suspicion of withholding information contrary to The Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act 1998.

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He was held under the provisions of Section 30 Offences Against the State Act 1939 and has since been released without charge.

A garda spokesman said a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to the matter.

Ashling Murphy was fatally assaulted while out jogging along the grand canal in the town at around 4pm.

She was from the townland of Blueball, just outside of Tullamore, and was a teacher at the nearby Durrow National School.

Her funeral mass was held in St Brigid's Church in Mountbolus on Tuesday.

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