A man has been arrested after a woman out jogging was killed in an apparently random daylight attack on the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly.
The incident happened at around 4pm, with the woman – understood to be in her 20s – seriously assaulted.
Gardaí confirmed at 7.40pm that she had died. A murder investigation is now underway.
A man in his 40s has been arrested and is being detained for questioning in connection with the incident.
Gardaí quickly closed off the area on the banks of the Grand Canal, between the town centre and Boland’s Lock.
The body of the woman was removed from the scene at about 9pm.
The scene remains preserved and the State Pathologist has been contacted to carry out a post mortem.
The Office of the State Pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau have also been notified.
Local sources indicated the victim worked as a teacher and her family are well known in the wider Tullamore area.
An incident room has been established at Tullamore Garda Station under a Senior Investigating Officer and a family liaison officer has been appointed and is liaising with the family of the deceased.
The violent incident, which took place on the greenway regularly used by walkers and runners, has shocked people in the town and beyond.
Gardaí at the scene near Bolands Lock, Tullamore. Picture: Ger Rogers
Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, tweeted: “My thoughts tonight are with the family of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime, with her friends and with her community.
“Please anyone with information, come forward to An Garda Síochána. The Gardai will investigate this awful crime and ensure justice is done.”
My thoughts tonight are with the family of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime, with her friends and with her community.
Please anyone with information, come forward to An Garda Síochána. The Gardai will investigate this awful crime and ensure justice is done.
— Helen McEntee TD (@HMcEntee) January 12, 2022
Josepha Madigan offered her sympathies to the family in a post on social media.
She wrote: “A young woman can’t even go for a run along a canal pathway – at four o’clock in the middle of the day – only to be attacked and murdered”.
“We need to urgently address why we live in a country where this can happen!”
Cllr Neil Feighery, who lives in Tullamore, said: “It is a terrible, terrible act of savagery. I am absolutely gutted and gobsmacked. I think the whole community is in shock”.
“My sympathies and thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”
Fianna Fáil Cllr Tony McCormack said the greenway where the incident happened was very popular and was used by people throughout the day and into the nighttime.
Cllr Declan Harvey, the Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, said he …….