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Funeral of Ashling Murphy to take place today

By Cate McCurry, PA

The funeral of Ashling Murphy, a primary school teacher murdered while out for a run, will take place later today in Co Offaly.

The 23-year-old, a talented musician, was found dead after going for a run on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore.

Her death has sparked a debate around women’s safety, and prompted calls for more to be done to tackle domestic violence and gender-based violence.

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Tens of thousands of people have also attended vigils in recent days to honour Ms Murphy.

Gardaí beside the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was found dead after going for a run on Wednesday afternoon (Niall Carson/PA)

It comes as gardaí investigating the death of Ms Murphy renewed an appeal for information, saying “significant progress” has been made in the murder probe.

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Gardaí released the description of a man they want to speak to in relation to the teacher’s murder in Co Offaly.

Gardaí have asked anyone who saw a man dressed in black tracksuit top with no hood, black tracksuit bottoms with a large white stripe or white writing on the side and black runners to come forward.

Officers have asked members of the public whether they saw this man walking in the Tullamore area, or if they gave the man a lift on the evening last Wednesday.

People leave candles and flowers at a make-shift shrine during a vigil at Leinster House, Dublin, for the murdered Ashling Murphy who died after being attacked while she was jogging along the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly, on Wednesday (Brian Lawless/PA)

The public has also been asked if they noticed him loitering at any location or “involved in any activity which drew your attention”.

Gardaí said that “significant progress” is being made, but would not confirm any specific details.

It comes as they identified a new person of interest, who is believed to be in hospital in the Dublin region receiving treatment, and are waiting to speak to him.

As their investigation continues, gardaí believe the development of DNA profiles will form an integral part of the search for Ms Murphy’s killer.

Police appealed to anyone who has not made contact with the investigation team and who has any information to come forward.

Gardaí said in a statement: “We are now asking for any member of the public who was on the Grand Canal Way on the morning or afternoon of the January 12 between Digby’s bridge and Ballycommon to contact the investigation team.

People leave candles and flowers at a make-shift shrine during a vigil at Leinster House, Dublin, for the murdered Ashling Murphy who died after being attacked while she was jogging along the Grand Canal in Tullamore, County Offaly, on Wednesday (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Whether you think you saw anything or not please contact gardai in Tullamore.

“We continue to appeal for any information on a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars and distinctive yellow/green front forks prior to 4pm on Wednesday and in the previous days and weeks.

“We are now asking for people in Tullamore to think about last Wednesday after 4pm and not to confine their thoughts to the Falcon Storm mountain bike.”

Gardaí said they are concerned about people sharing information on social media, particularly private messaging apps.

Gardaí have appealed for people to stop sharing these messages.

Members of the public continued to bring floral tributes and messages to the canal in recent days.

Ms Murphy’s funeral will take place on Tuesday at St Brigid’s Church, Mountbolus at 11am.

Her funeral will be live streamed.

Mr Murphy’s family have appealed for privacy at her family home before the funeral mass.

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