Video: Tributes to Ashling Murphy, antigen test portal, Covid restrictions

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‘No stone will be left unturned’ in Ashling Murphy murder investigation

Gardaí investigating the suspected murder of a young woman in Co Offaly say “no stone will be left unturned” in bringing her killer to justice.

Ashling Murphy, a primary school teacher in Durrow National School aged in her 20s, was killed on Wednesday afternoon as she jogged along the banks of the Grand Canal at Cappincur.


A 40-year-old man has been arrested and is being detained at Tullamore Garda Station.

The normally bustling canal was quiet on Thursday, as the Irish town reacted to the killing of the young woman. Locals have spoken of a sense of devastation, as well as confusion about the “randomness” of such an attack.

Ashling Murphy: 'Her pupils adored her'

Tributes have been paid to Offaly teacher Ashling Murphy who was fatally attacked on Wednesday while out jogging along a canal towpath.

Bouquets of flowers and a candle were left on the bank of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, as reported in The Irish Times, close to where Ms Murphy was killed.


One unsigned message from a local person, which was left with flowers, read: “You were one of the kindest girls I’ve met. Always helpful, always had a smile on your face. You were a great mentor on and off the pitch. Fly high angel. Rest in Peace.”

The principal of Durrow NS where Ms Murphy taught first class, James Hogan, described the newly qualified teacher as “a shining light”.

“Her pupils adored her,” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.

Online portal to register positive antigen results

A new online portal being established to allow members of the public to register their positive Covid-19 results from antigen tests is open to improper use, the Minister of Health has conceded.


On Wednesday, the Cabinet signed off on recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), reducing isolation periods for people who test positive or are close contact.

The changes will coincide with the introduction of the new portal, which will also allow those who register their positive antigen results to give details of their close contacts, and a PCR test will not be required to confirm the positive antigen result.

The HSE is currently working to establish the portal, which Stephen Donnelly said will go live on Friday, according to The Irish Times.

However, he admitted some people may try to take advantage of the new system.


Covid restrictions

Covid-19 restrictions must only remain in place if there is a strong public health rationale for them, the Minister for Health has said.

Despite record high case numbers driven by the Omicron variant, hospital and critical care figures have remained stable amid high levels of vaccination and natural immunity.

A phased reopening of society is on the cards for February, with public health chiefs to meet next week to assess the epidemiological picture.

Stephen Donnelly said on Thursday restrictions have come at “a huge cost” and must only be maintained if there is a strong public health argument for them.

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