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Ashling Murphy investigation: Man in his 30s arrested on suspicion of murder

The arrest comes just hours after Ashling’s funeral mass.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Jan 18th 2022, 4:00 PM

GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED a man in connection with the death of Ashling Murphy.

A garda statement said the man is detained in Tullamore Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act – he can be detained for a maximum of 24 hours.

“Gardaí investigating the fatal assault on Ashling Murphy that occurred at approximately 4pm on Wednesday, 12th January, 2022, along the canal bank at Cappincur, Tullamore, County Offaly have arrested a male in his 30s on suspicion of murder,” the statement said. 

Ashling was laid to rest after requiem mass this morning.

Searches have been carried out around Tullamore in recent days in connection with the investigation.

It’s understood gardaí have also gathered hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and a team of officers are now viewing that footage in order to piece together the movements of the young teacher and her attacker last Wednesday. 

It is understood officers have also seized several mobile phones that will be examined forensically. Forensic tests are being carried out on samples from the murder scene, with strong hopes of DNA evidence being obtained. 

Sources have said that there are dozens of lines of enquiry, known to gardaí as job sheets, and these include taking witness statements as well as checking possible sightings of the suspect.

A garda team that specialises in interviewing suspects will conduct the questioning in two hour blocks with the suspect.

Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act allows the gardaí to detain a person who has been arrested for questioning. 

The process involves the arrest and then the suspect is taken to a garda station where a member-in-charge will grant the detention if their are satisfied it is needed for the proper investigation of the offence. 

They can be held for a maximum of 24 hours – that detention period is broken down into timed blocks.

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It can be extended after six hours for a further six hours on application to a Superintendent. It can be extended further for 12 hours on an application to a Chief Superintendent.

Samples, such as for DNA, finger prints and photographs can also be taken. 

The arrested person can be offered an eight hour rest period for sleep if they are detained during the night – questioning is suspended at this time.

A doctor can also certify the person unfit for interview which means their detention is suspended. 

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