His life is ‘ruined’, says solicitor of man released in Ashling Murphy inquiry

Gardaí released 40-year-old man on Thursday night, saying he is ‘no longer a suspect’

Flowers and messages left near  the scene in Tullamore, Co Offaly where 23-year-old Ashling Murphy was killed. Photograph: Dominic McGrath/ PA Wire

Flowers and messages left near the scene in Tullamore, Co Offaly where 23-year-old Ashling Murphy was killed. Photograph: Dominic McGrath/ PA Wire

 

The man released by gardaí investigating the murder of teacher Ashling Murphy in Co Offaly has had his “life ruined”, his solicitor said.

On Thursday night, gardaí released the 40 year old, stating he is “no longer a suspect”.

Donal Farrelly, who represented the man during his two days of questioning, condemned those who had tried to identify him on social media.

“This man has been vilified on social media and clearly identified on social media,” he told the Press Association, adding his client had endured a “traumatic period”.

“Any form of interrogation or questioning is inherently traumatic. And he’s been through two days of this,” said the solicitor, who did not want to confirm any details about the man’s identity, bar his age.

People in the town initially drew comfort from the knowledge police had quickly apprehended a suspect.

Mr Farrelly said his client had also faced the “troubles and trauma of social media”. It had “ruined his life and he has been deeply affected by it”, Mr Farrelly said.

He confirmed the man stayed away from his home and local area on Thursday night after his release.

“We must never lose sight of the dreadful trauma to the Murphy family,” said Mr Farrelly, who voiced his “every sympathy” to Ms Murphy’s loved ones.

“But this is an innocent man, who has now been cleared,” he added.

Appeal for witnesses

Gardaí have continued to appeal for witnesses to come forward with any information they have on the murder. However, they have strongly and clearly emphasised that man detained in recent days has been eliminated from their inquiries.

Meanwhile, they have also appealed again for any information about a Falcon Storm mountain bike with straight handlebars with distinctive yellow/ green front forks.

Anyone who was in the vicinity of the Cappincur/ canal walk area of Tullamore, Co Offaly before 4pm, Wednesday is also asked to make contact with them.

Drivers who were in Tullamore’s town centre or the approach roads to the Grand Canal Way around Capincur are also asked to come forward with dashcam or other video.