Republic of Ireland news

Ashling Murphy murder accused appears in court

 Jozef Puska (31) picture being led into Tullamore District Court last week
Cate McCurry, PA

A man charged with the murder of teacher Ashling Murphy has appeared in court.

Jozef Puska (31) of Lynally Grove in Co Offaly, appeared before Cloverhill District Court, Dublin, today via video link.

Puska is accused of killing the 23-year-old school teacher, who was attacked while out running along a canal near Tullamore, on Wednesday, January 12.

Puska confirmed his name to the court through a Slovakian interpreter during his second hearing.

Puska, who has been granted legal aid, appeared before District Judge Victor Blake.

He removed his mask and spoke to confirm he could hear and see the court.

Ashling Murphy was killed while out running in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Judge Blake asked if the DPP’s directions were available.

Garda Sergeant Olwyn Murphy said they were not and requested a four-week adjournment to prepare the file.

Defence solicitor Roy O’Neill agreed to a two-week adjournment and said the services of an interpreter were required at the next court hearing.

Mr O’Neill also told the court he wanted to consult with his client after the hearing, with the services of the interpreter.

Judge Blake told Puska that he was remanded into continuing custody and would appear before Cloverhill District Court on February 9 for formal DPP directions.

The court also heard that the DPP has to complete its book of evidence.

Last week, large crowds gathered in the village of Mountbolus, Co Offaly, and outside St Brigid’s Church, where her funeral was held.

Mourners included President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Vigils have been held across Ireland and the world to remember Ms Murphy, and to call for a change in tackling gender-based violence.

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