TRAGIC Ashling Murphy has been described by her family as the “light of our lives” ahead of her funeral today.

The murdered teacher’s heartbroken sister Amy has paid a heartbreaking tribute as an investigation into her death continues.



Ashling, who was 23, was jogging in broad daylight when she was killed.

She bravely attempted to fight off her attacker in the moments before her death.

Police have discovered DNA under her fingernails, with swabs also taken from her hands and clothing.

Fingerprint evidence has also been taken from a Falcon Storm mountain bike found dumped near the scene.

The prime suspect presented himself at a hospital with facial injuries and was last night still undergoing treatment.

Amy said yesterday: “Ashling was the light of our lives and the heart of our family.

TRIBUTES TO TRAGIC ASHLING

“Sadly we will lay her to rest tomorrow, Tuesday, January 18."

A requiem mass will take place at St Brigid's Church in Mountbolous during the morning. It will be aired on television and live-streamed for mourners unable to attend.

Plans are reportedly being made for a special musical tribute as the service takes place.

Ashling, a talented musician, played the fiddle and the tin whistle, and had recently taken up the uilleann pipes.

The Murphy family tonight encouraged mourners to join in.

Amy said: “Our family kindly asks that any musicians attending please bring their instrument and play music at Lowertown cemetery after mass should you wish.

“We would greatly appreciate privacy from media outlets at this time."

'THE LIGHT OF OUR LIVES'

Ashling lost her fight for life last Wednesday after she was targeted in the random attack at the canal bank in ­Cappincur, Tullamore.

Her devastated family have twice visited the canal where she died.

Mum and dad Kathleen and Raymond, along with sister Amy, brother Cathal and boyfriend Ryan Casey, also attended a vigil.

Meanwhile, former assistant garda commission Pat Leahy urged witnesses to come forward.

He told Claire Byrne on RTE One: “The garda are asking if anyone has any bit of information that doesn't sit comfortably with them to share it.

"Think broadly, because there are very specific requests going out, don’t be hamstrung by that, come forward with anything.

SUSPECT IN HOSPITAL

“Every line of inquiry has to be pursued.

"They’re asking for additional help from the community, which is what they should be doing and what the community should be doing right now.”

The suspect in hospital lives outside of the Irish town of Tullamore, where Ashling's body was discovered.

He is believed to have travelled to Dublin after the young teacher’s murder.

Once there, he’s understood to have stayed at a house in the south of the city while hurt before an associate brought him to hospital.

Cops have seized his phone.

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Police have received dozens of calls from members of the public about his possible movements in the hours before Ashling's death.

One woman in her 40s claims she saw a man acting suspiciously just two hours before.

Detectives are probing a theory Ashling was one of a number of women stalked along the canal over a 24-hour period.




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