In the ongoing trial regarding the tragic death of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy in Co Offaly, a series of CCTV clips have been presented in court. These videos depict a man cycling through Tullamore, the town where Ms. Murphy was killed, on the day of the incident. The prosecution contends that the man in the footage is Jozef Puska, the individual charged with Ms. Murphy’s murder.
The montage of CCTV footage, sourced from various locations in Tullamore, spans different times and varies in quality. According to the prosecution, the footage featuring the alleged suspect, Puska, is available from 12:25 pm to 2:05 pm on January 12, the day of the incident. Strikingly, there is no footage of the man – purportedly Puska – from 2:05 pm until 8:55 pm that evening.
Tragically, Ms. Murphy, a 23-year-old teacher, was killed while she was out exercising along a canal path in Tullamore around 3:30 pm on January 12, 2022. Puska, aged 33 and residing in Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Tullamore, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of Ms. Murphy’s murder.
During the trial’s fourth day at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, Detective Garda David Harney provided a detailed account of the CCTV footage. The footage showed Puska cycling on a grey bicycle with bright green handlebars and forks. He was seen wearing a black hoodless jacket and black tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe down the side, bearing the words “Tommy Hilfiger.”
Additionally, the court heard testimony from paramedic Paul McCabe, who arrived at the scene of the incident shortly after receiving an emergency call. He described the challenging terrain and the efforts made to perform resuscitation on Ms. Murphy. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, she showed no signs of life, leading to the decision to cease resuscitation.
Detective Garda Ronan Lawlor from the Garda Technical Bureau also testified, detailing the items collected from the crime scene. These items included sunglasses, a light pink woolly hat, blue Nike runners, a green and navy GAA top with yellow stripes, a scarf, and a white T-shirt, all of which were bloodstained. Additionally, items removed from Ms. Murphy’s body, including a fitness watch, a gold-colored ring, and a necklace with the word ‘Ashling’ on it, were identified in court.
As the trial unfolds, the court continues to analyze the evidence presented, aiming to ascertain the truth behind this tragic incident in a Co Offaly town.