Ashling's boyfriend Ryan Casey (right) and her brother Cathal Murphy (left) Leah Farrell via
ashling murphy

Ashling Murphy's family pay tribute to her after hearing 'harrowing evidence' of 'incomprehensible violence'

Jozef Puska was today found guilty of the murder of Ashling Murphy.

THE BOYFRIEND OF Ashling Murphy, who was killed in Co Offaly last year, said that she was “a shining light in her community” as he addressed the media outside court after hearing the verdict.

Jozef Puska was found guilty of murdering the 23-year-old schoolteacher while she was exercising on a canal path in Tullamore on the afternoon of 12 January, 2022.

Speaking outside the Criminal Courts of Justice, her partner Ryan Casey said: “Ashling was a vibrant, intelligent and highly motivated [person] who embodied so many great traits.

“Her life had a huge impact on so many of those around her. She was the epitome of a perfect role model.

“She was not only an integral part of our family, but she was also a huge shining light in her community, the community which year in year out she gave back to the best she could.”

He thanked their family and friends who have shown “unwavering support” since Ashling’s death.

He also expressed gratitude to An Garda Síochána for a “robust and thorough investigation”, the State’s legal team, Justice Tony Hunt and the victim support team.

Ashling’s brother Cathal Murphy acknowledged the jury, which comprised nine men and three women, who had been deliberating since Wednesday evening.

“Sitting through the harrowing evidence of this trial was not an easy task and we’ll be forever grateful for their patience and resilience throughout this incredibly difficult process,” he said.

“Ashling was subjected to incomprehensible violence by a predator who was not known to her.

“While we do not glory in any conviction, we recognise the importance of holding accountable those who would commit such terrible atrocities.

“It is simply imperative that this vicious monster will never harm another woman again.”

973Jozef Puska Trial_90692703 The family (brother Cathal,father Raymond, sister Amym) speaking to reporters outside the courts Eamonn Farrell Eamonn Farrell

During the trial, the court heard that Ms Murphy had been stabbed eleven times and her neck had been slashed in a twelfth wound.

Judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt thanked the jury today for their service and exempted them from further duty for 20 years.

He said the prompt verdict reflected that it was a straightforward case.

He said he agreed with the verdict and was satisfied it was correct.

However, he said there was no doubt the case was “difficult and upsetting”.

In a statement following the verdict, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said her thought are with the family, as “none of us can comprehend the grief and loss they carry every day”.

“Their beautiful daughter, sister and friend, a young woman with so much to offer the world, was taken from them.

“Ashling’s murder shocked us all. It moved us to action, demanding an end to violence against women. 

“Our determination to achieve that grows stronger every day.”

She acknowledged that the lives of the people in Ashling’s community have been “changed forever”.

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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