The late Ashling Murphy.

Tributes flow in to 'angel of a teacher' Ashling

The young woman who was killed in an attack while running on the canal towpath in Tullamore yesterday afternoon has been named.

Ashling Murphy (23) was fatally injured when she was attacked while out jogging along the Grand Canal on the outskirts of Tullamore yesterday afternoon.

A primary school teacher at Durrow NS, Ms Murphy comes from a well-known local musical family from the Blueball area.

She was a former student of Mary Immaculate College where she gradated from recently and was a talented musician and member of Ballyboy CCE

The late Ashling Murphy is being remembered as “an angel of a teacher” by her colleagues in Durrow NS.

Recently retired principal Frank Kelly said Aisling was a first-class teacher with many talents from music to sport, and it was a joy to go into her classroom where her first class students were always smiling.

Aisling had started as a substitute teacher in the school in March before taking up a permanent position in September.

A fiddle player, Mr Kelly said she was deeply embedded in the music scene in Offaly, and taught music in Ballyboy.

“She was just an angel of a teacher, a beautiful girl. Our staff came in at 8am this morning and there was a flood of tears,” he told Midlands 103.

He said the tears are coming in waves today, but their main thoughts are with Aisling and her family.

School staff have been briefed by a team from NEPS, the National Educational Psychological Service, he said, on how to assist the children on such a difficult day.

A statement from Mary Immaculate College, where Ashling only graduated as a teacher three months ago, said their thoughts and prayers of go out to her family, friends, colleagues and students.

“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 only three months ago.

“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.”

Local TD Carol Nolan said “grief has descended on Tullamore and the local community” following the confirmation of Aisling's tragic death.

“For Ashling's family this is a horror beyond comprehension.

“Our hearts are breaking for them, and with them.

“I want to extend my own and my families personal prayers and support to all of Ashling's family and friends during this time of bitter grief and heart-rending sorrow,” she said.

“It is absolutely vital that all young women and indeed, all of our people, feel safe and secure in the living and the enjoyment of their lives.

“No one among us should have to live in fear of these kind of vicious and senseless attacks.

“A beautiful life has been taken from us. Ashling’s family, friends and work colleagues are bereft.

“But I know that the community will stand with them and envelope them in their love and support during this terrible time.”

In a Tweet last night, Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen said: “Our locality like the whole country is stunned and numbed. Thoughts, prayers with her family, friends, colleagues and community.”

Speaking on Morning Ireland earlier, Councillor Declan Harvey extended his sympathy to Ms Murphy's family.

“It’s unthinkable what happened yesterday, it’s a route that we walk, myself and my wife and my family. During the pandemic it was a saving grace for us all, it kept us all sane.

“I want to extend my sympathies to Ashling’s father, mother and all her extended family. I’m devastated. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about it.”