Case adjourned  | 

Jozef Puska appears in court accused of murdering Ashling Murphy in Tullamore

When asked if he could see and hear the court, Mr Puska replied "yes".

Jozef Puska (31)

Eimear Cotter

A MAN charged with the murder of school teacher Ashling Murphy in Co Offaly earlier this month has been further remanded in custody for two weeks.

This afternoon, Jozef Puska (31) made his second 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.

Defence solicitor Roy O'Neill told Judge Victor Blake that Mr Puska consented to a two week remand in custody.

Bail can only be granted by the High Court on a murder charge.

Wearing a grey sweatshirt and a face mask which he pulled down when addressing the court, Mr Puska spoke to confirm his name when asked to do so by the court register.

When asked if he could see and hear the court, Mr Puska replied "yes".

A Slovakian interpreter was in court to assist the accused.

Judge Blake asked if formal DPP's directions were available on the charge.

The State said directions were not yet available and asked for a four week adjournment for DPP's directions and the preparation of a file.

Ashling Murphy.

Mr O'Neill said there was only consent at this stage to a two week adjournment.

The judge further remanded Mr Puska in custody to appear before Cloverhill court via videolink on February 9.

Mr O'Neill said he had been trying to speak to Mr Puska all morning but the phone in the prison was engaged.

He asked if Mr Puska could be held back by prison officers so he could speak to him, particularly as an interpreter was in court.

Mr O'Neill was told that this would be facilitated.

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

Detective Sergeant David Scahill gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution. Mr Puska was handed a true copy of the charge sheet, and asked if he had anything to say after caution Mr Puska replied "no".

At that time, the court heard that Mr Puska was on disability benefit and defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght was assigned on free legal aid.

Ms Murphy, a talented traditional Irish musician and recent 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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