Ashling Murphy: family and friends say murdered teacher was ‘a shining light, her smile lit up a room’

Ashling Murphy was murdered in broad daylight in Cappincur, Ireland, on Wednesday

Tributes have been paid to a murdered school teacher described as a “shining light” and having a smile which “lit up a room.”

Ashling Murphy, 23, was killed while out jogging in Tullamore, Ireland, on Wednesday, in a crime that has shocked the country.

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The young teacher’s body was found on the banks of the Grand Canal in Cappincur, and the authorities have vowed to leave “no stone unturned” in the hunt for her killer.

It is believed that she was murdered after she went jogging in the area at around 4pm, with Gardai confirming they believe the attack took place in broad daylight.

Hundreds of people turned out to a vigil in her memory in Galway on Thursday, and one was set to take place in Tullamore on Friday.

Ashling, who was a talented musician, was a primary school teacher at Durrow National School.

Ashling Murphy was murdered while out jogging on Wednesday.

‘She crammed so much into her short life’

Her family have described her as a “special girl” and a “little angel”.

In an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper, her father Raymond said: “She was a great worker, with great drive. A marvellous musician.

“She crammed so much into her short life.”

Speaking to the Irish Times Attracta Brady, who taught her to play the fiddle from the age of six, said: “She was always ready to help people, she always had a word for everybody around her, she was like a little light walking around. She had everything – it is beyond heartbreaking for everybody who knew her.”

Family friend Frank Kelly, also a traditional musician, also told the Irish Times: “She was a shining light, her smile lit up a room, she was an absolute gem of a teacher.”

Floral tributes were left outside the gates of Durrow National School, where Ms Murphy taught and on Friday, the school issued a fresh tribute to her.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the school said it was “utterly devastated by the passing of our dear colleague and friend”.

“Ashling was a very professional and talented young teacher. We are deeply saddened by her tragic loss. Our thoughts are also with her beloved family at this sad time.”

A man lays flowers with other floral tributes left near to the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly, where Aisling Murphy was murdered.

‘Ashling was a shining light to the kids’

Principal James Hogan told RTE radio on Thursday that Ms Murphy was a “bright light who put a smile on anyone’s face”.

He added: “Ashling was a shining light to the kids and a very professional and talented young teacher.

“She was an inspiration to so many, not just in our school but across the wider community of schools.”

On Friday the garda appealed for any information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/ green front forks, and have released an image.

Officers have also asked for anyone who was near the scene of the murder at the before 4pm on Wednesday to contact them on 057 932 7600, the garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

An image of the bike officers are appealing for information about.

On Thursday officers released a man they had been questioning, saying he is “no longer a suspect”.

The garda has said there is no information Ashling and her killer were known to each other

The death of Ms Murphy has sparked fresh debate about the safety of women in Ireland, with many asking how such an attack could happen in broad daylight.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said on Friday he was devastated by the murder.

He said tackling gender-based violence had been a priority of the Irish Government for “quite some time”.

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