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'never forgotten' Tullamore Tradfest to end with memorial concert for late Ashling Murphy

The event will take place in her hometown in April

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Ashling Murphy (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann/PA)

Ashling Murphy (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann/PA)

Ashling Murphy (Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann/PA)

Tullamore Tradfest, which is set to take place in April, is set to end with a memorial concert in honour of the late Ashling Murphy.

The 23-year-old from Tullamore who died on January 12th following a fatal assault was a respected member of the traditional music scene in her Offaly hometown and beyond.

Following her death, tributes poured in from around the world as Ireland mourned for the devastating loss of the primary school teacher.

Concert organiser James Hogan told Offaly Independent that Ashling and her family have been an integral part of Tradfest since its beginning.

"It's a special concert to remember Ashling for who she was. Ashling reached out to so many people, locally, nationally and internationally.

"She just had a great love for it [traditional music] and we feel that it is important to maintain her dream. She was a talented teacher of music as well."

“The fiddle was her primary instrument but she had great interests in playing in groups and ensembles and she performed worldwide,” he said.

“We are going to bring all that back to Tullamore and show her family that while she is gone she will never be forgotten.”

Mr Hogan, who knew Ashling since she was a child, is also the principal of Durrow National School where she worked as a teacher until her untimely death.

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Floral tributes and candles surround a photographer left at the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found dead after going for an afternoon run (Niall Carson/PA)

Floral tributes and candles surround a photographer left at the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found dead after going for an afternoon run (Niall Carson/PA)

Floral tributes and candles surround a photographer left at the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found dead after going for an afternoon run (Niall Carson/PA)

He said that the school community is “heartbroken”.

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“We are still very numb and it is still very raw. We saw her everyday, but the show has to go on, unfortunately.”

“The kids have been amazing,” he continued.

“We have provided the supports needed for children and staff. For the staff in particular, we have lost a family member, a very vibrant family member.

“She was with us for a short time, but she might as well have been with us for a long time because that's the character she was.

“We are just taking it one hour at a time. The week that's in it, it's her month's mind. We celebrated a mass [on Wednesday] in our local church. It was pupil led and it was lovely, her family attended too."

“It was another step for us to reach. It reassured people that she is gone but she will always be remembered,” he said.

31-year-old Jozef Puska,with an address at Lynally Grove, Tullamore, Co Offaly, has been charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy on January 12th.

He is currently remanded in custody as Gardaí prepare to send his charges to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to consider.

The final line-up for Tullamore Tradfest, which takes place at the Tullamore Court Hotel on April 10th, is yet to be announced.

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