Ashling Murphy: Gardai seize two cars linked to chief suspect as officials set to quiz man

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Ashling Murphy: Gardai seize two cars linked to chief suspect as officials set to quiz man
© Getty Murdered school teacher Ashling Murphys mother Kathleen Murphy, brother Cathal Murphy and sister Amy Murphy comfort one another as they attend a candle lit vigil near the scene of her murder

Gardai are examining two cars they have seized linked to the new chief suspect in Ashling Murphy’s murder – who they hope to quiz as early as today.

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The man is in a Dublin hospital where a Garda presence remained on Sunday night as he is being treated for “self-inflicted” wounds which resulted in him taken in on Thursday.

But they may get a chance to interview him on Monday if medics give the go-ahead.

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Officers believe the man was given a lift from Tullamore in Offaly to the capital on Wednesday, the day primary school teacher Ashling Murphy was brutally murdered at the canal bank at Cappincur.

He then is understood to have stayed at a house with extended family in South Dublin, before he was brought to hospital with his wounds the following day.

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Now gardai have seized two vehicles linked to the man, one in Tullamore and one in Dublin, which will be forensically examined over the coming days.

And last night, a bottle bank in a car park on the Daingean Road in Tullamore – just over 2km away from the murder scene – was sealed off as gardai continue to gather evidence in the case.

A source said: “There has been a hive of activity in relation to the investigation as gardai wait to question the new suspect and there has been huge progression since this murder on Wednesday.”

It comes after a house outside Tullamore, was searched on Friday and Saturday and remained sealed off last night.

Ashling Murphy: Gardai seize two cars linked to chief suspect as officials set to quiz man
© Thomson Reuters Police (Garda) water unit continue to search the murder scene where 23-year-old Ashling Murphy was murdered, on the Cappincur canal towpath while out jogging in Tullamore, Ireland, January 15, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The home he is believed to have stayed in on Wednesday night in South Dublin has also been raided.

Detectives believe DNA from the new suspect will be crucial in the probe.

Brave Ashling, 23, fought in vain for her life and gardai now have recovered “key” forensic evidence.

DNA was also taken from the distinctive Falcon Storm bike, which a man was seen on in the town before the murder.

Yesterday, the Garda Water Unit continued their work in the canal as they searched for more evidence, including a potential weapon, before leaving at around 2pm.

Then Ashling’s heartbroken family were escorted to the scene and walked along the canal to where her life was so brutally taken.

Dad Ray along with mum Kathleen, sister Amy and brother Cathal were there for about 10 minutes before they went back up to a jeep and were brought to their family home in Blueball, around 10 minutes away from Tullamore town.

Huge queues formed outside the family home as hundreds came to pay their respects from 4pm yesterday, while Ashling’s body lay in repose.

Today, the wake will take place from 3pm to 8pm before her funeral mass tomorrow at St Brigid’s in Mountbolus, which will also be streamed live.

The family have requested family flowers only and that the house be strictly private on Tuesday.

On Saturday evening at Mass in the Church of the Assumption in Tullamore, Fr Joe Gallagher told how the town is still reeling in “the shock, the horror, the grief”.

He added: “We remember Ashling who was so violently taken from us in a place we thought was safe.

“She was only going for a run. And we remember her broken-hearted family. We cannot even begin to understand their pain and we want to reach out to them and carry them through this awful time.

“And her pupils in First Class, the little ones she loved, and they adored her. And so many of her friends and young people who are coming face to face with the horror of violence and loss. Life can be so cruel, and we don’t know why.”

Pals of Ashling’s boyfriend Ryan Casey are also rallying around him after the tragedy.

The pair had gone out with each other for several years.

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