Ashling Murphy’s heartbroken mother reveals her final words before she was murdered

Jozef Puska, 33, was jailed for life on Friday at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court.

Ashling Murphy’s heartbroken mother reveals her final words before she was murdered
'Evil' killer jailed for life for murdering Irish teacher Ashling Murphy
Jozef Puska was found guilty of murdering Ashling Murphy by a jury of nine men and three women last week (Picture: PA)

The mother of murdered schoolteacher Ashling Murphy revealed the heartbreaking last words her daughter spoke to her before she was murdered.

Jozef Puska, 33, was jailed for life on Friday at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court.

During his trial, jurors heard how he dragged Ashling off a canal path in Tullamore, Co Offaly, while she was exercising after work on January 12 last year and stabbed her 12 times.

In a victim impact statement read out in court by a detective garda, Mrs Murphy said her ‘heart broke the moment I heard the bad news Ashling was murdered’.

‘There is such a void in our home,’ she said.

She said Puska’s actions ‘must have consequences’ and said ‘he should never see the light of day again’.

Mrs Murphy revealed that before her daughter left the house, she had begged her not to go along the canal, to which Ms Murphy replied: ‘Ah mum, I’m 23 years old.’

She gave her ‘a big hug and said “I love you, you’re the best mum in the world” and walked out the door’, Mrs Murphy said.

File photo dated 19/01/22 of Jozef Puska (second left), being led in to Tullamore District Court, charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy. Puska, 33, has been found guilty at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin of murdering schoolteacher Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, Co Offaly, in January last year. Issue date: Thursday November 9, 2023. PA Photo. Ms Murphy, 23, was killed while exercising on a canal path in Tullamore, Co Offaly, on the afternoon of January 12 last year. Puska, 33, of Lynally Grove in Mucklagh, Tullamore, had pleaded not guilty to her murder. See PA story COURTS Murphy. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Jozef Puska (second left), being led in to Tullamore District Court, charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy (Picture: PA)
Undated handout photo issued by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann of Ashling Murphy, a primary school teacher in Tullamore aged in her 20s, who was killed on Wednesday afternoon along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur, Co Offaly. Issue date: Thursday January 13, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story IRISH Death. Photo credit should read: Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ashling Murphy was a primary school teacher in Tullamore (Picture: PA)

Ashling’s partner Ryan Casey, who sat through the trial alongside her parents, sobbed as he described her in a victim impact statement as ‘my closest friend, my best friend’.

‘Ashling was simply everything to me and I simply lost everything,’ he said.

Turning to face Puska in the dock, he went on: ‘You have no idea and will you never have any idea of the level of connection and love Ashling and I shared.

‘You have no idea the love we had for each other. Because of you I have lost my Ashling, because of you, I will never get to marry my soulmate, because of you I will never see her smile again, because of you I have to somehow carry on without her.

‘You smirked, you smiled and you showed no remorse which sums you up the kind of person you are, the epitome of pure evil.’

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