Irish police were forced to hold back an angry crowd from a foreign man on Wednesday, shortly after he was charged with the murder of a 23-year-old woman.
Members of the Irish police force were forced to hold back an angry crowd from Jozef Puska on Wednesday evening after the Slovakian was charged with the murder of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy.
Puska was charged at a special sitting of Tullamore district court in County Offaly shortly after 8.15 pm yesterday evening, being remanded in custody to appear again in front of Cloverhill district court on January 26.
According to a report by The Times, one man managed to strike Puska as he left the courtroom, while others in the crowd of locals jeered and shouted obscenities.
Video of the incident posted online by journalist Cate McCurry also appears to show at least one man attempt to hit Puska, with insults of “prick” and “you scumbag” clearly audible as police held the crowd back. In the chaos, the police van speeds off into the crowd, its rear doors still open, pursued by officers on foot trying to close them.
Jozef Puska, 31, of Lynally Grove in Tullamore, Co Offaly has appeared in court charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy. pic.twitter.com/F0HtlGU2Q1
— Cate McCurry (@CateMcCurry) January 19, 2022
Ashling Murphy was fatally assaulted while jogging on January 2, dying at the scene of the incident near Tullamore town centre.
The 23-year-old teacher’s funeral was attended by the Irish President Michael D. Higgins, as well as Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Micheál Martin and all women members of the Irish cabinet.
According to a report by the Irish Independent, the court heard that Puska replied with “no” when the charge of murder was put to him.
The Slovakian man was also granted legal aid by the court, with the solicitor appointed to represent Puska, Eoin Lysaght, saying that the accused is on disability benefit of €200 a week.
Puska is reported as listening to proceedings through the assistance of a Slovakian interpreter. Lysaght has also asked the court for an interpreter to be appointed for all future hearings and consultations.
A number of the deceased teacher’s family members stood at the back of the court during the hearing, according to the Irish Independent, holding pictures of Ms Murphy.