Ashling Murphy was a teacher in Durrow, Co Offaly
THE PRESIDENT of Limerick's Mary Immaculate College has led the local tributes to a former student of the college who was murdered in a random attack in County Offaly.
Ashling Murphy, 23, was attacked while out for a run along the canal bank at Cappincur, Tullamore on Wednesday afternoon.
The murder of the young woman, who was beaten to death in broad daylight, has sent shockwaves across the country.
The alarm was raised by a member of the public who contacted the gardai. Medical attention was provided but despite the best efforts of the medical team, Ms Murphy passed away.
"At this stage, there is no indication that the victim and her killer were known to each other," said Superintendent Eamonn Curley of Tullamore Garda Station at a press briefing this Thursday morning.
The accomplished musician played with a number of groups and in 2018 she was part of the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland who performed for Pope Francis during his visit to Ireland.
Ms Murphy taught first class at Durrow National School. She had graduated in recent months and her alma mater, Mary Immaculate College, paid tribute to the young woman this morning.
Eugene Wall, President of MIC posted a tweet which read: "The entire MIC community is heartbroken and shocked to the core to hear of the tragic and senseless killing of Ashling Murphy who graduated from MIC only three months ago.
"Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family, friends, colleagues and pupils. RIP Ashling."
In a statement the college said: "It is with profound sadness and shock that we learned of the untimely and tragic death of Ashling Murphy, who graduated from MIC as a primary teacher less than three months ago.
Thinking of Ashling: a teacher, a musician, a friend, a neighbour, a daughter— Emma Langford (@ELangfordMusic) January 13, 2022
Thinking of her class, her family and her friends
Thinking of the women who interrupted her attack
Numb thinking of how this happened in daylight, happens in the dark, happens everywhere & anywhere
"Ashling, a talented musician and performer, had just commenced her teaching career in Durrow National School, Co. Offaly, when her young and promising life was cruelly snatched away from her.
"The thoughts and prayers of the entire MIC community go out to her family, friends, colleagues and students. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis".
Principal of Durrow National School James Hogan that Ms Murphy was a "bright light who put a smile on every face."
"Today is a day that nobody can prepare for. The parents, staff, pupils and wider community here are just utterly devastated.
"Ashling was a shining light to the kids and a very proffesional and talented young teacher.. She was an inspiration to so many, not only in our school but across the wider community."
Ashling Murphy— Comhaltas (CCÉ) (@Comhaltas) January 13, 2022
Ar dheis Dé go raibh do anam uasal ceolmhar. pic.twitter.com/IvNYfd4hf5
He continued: "Our number one priority as a school at this moment is the care of the children and staff. We are just trying to comprehend it.
"We are a very close knit community in Durrow, we met as staff this morning and there was a wave of tears. Ashling was a family member to us.
"Her 1st class students adored her and today they came in with little tears in their eyes, they adored her."
Limerick woman, presenter Muireann O'Connell echoed the thoughts of women across the country today as she spoke emotionally on Ireland AM this Thursday morning.
Vigils have been planned across the country in memory of Ms Murphy including one at Arthur's Quay Park at 6pm on Friday 14 January.
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