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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Tom Tuite

Man charged with murder of Ashling Murphy sent forward for trial

A man charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy was yesterday formally sent forward to face trial in the Central Criminal Court.

Jozef Puska, 31, was initially remanded in custody on January 19.

He is accused of murdering the 23-year-old primary school teacher who was attacked while out running along the Grand Canal near Tullamore, Co Offaly, on January 12.

The Slovakian faced his fifth hearing at Cloverhill District Court yesterday before Judge Victor Blake via video link.

Dressed in a grey tracksuit, he listened with the help of an interpreter and after being asked three times, he removed his face mask and spoke only to give his name.

The case was listed for a formal direction from the DPP to be outlined.


Court Garda Sergeant Olwyn Murphy told Judge Blake the “direction was trial on indictment in the Central Criminal Court”.

The prosecution’s book of evidence must be completed and served on him before being returned for trial to the higher court.

The sergeant requested a four-week adjournment. However, defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght said his client, with an address of Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co Offaly, consented to a fortnight only. He asked the court to note how long his client had been in custody.

Judge Blake said he appreciated the significance of the charge, and he thought the State was “moving pretty rapidly on it”.

The defence asked for the book of evidence to be translated into Slovakian, but Judge Blake said it had to be ready first.

He further remanded Puska in custody to appear again on March 23.

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