A new suspect in Ashling Murphy’s murder has been linked to a bicycle on which Gardaí has made repeated appeals for information over the past 48 hours.
The Independent Irish he knows that investigators obtained CCTV cameras of a suspected man on his bicycle in the Tullamore, Co Offaly area.
Pictures of the bike were made public Thursday night, just hours before investigators released a 40-year-old who had been the prime suspect in the random attack.
He has since been eliminated from the Garda investigation and has gone into hiding for his own safety.
The man’s identity and photo were widely shared on social media and messaging apps while he was in custody.
The new suspect is reported to be hospitalized and has not yet been formally interviewed.
Sources indicated it could take several days for agents to take a statement from him.
Although gardaí does not confirm any specific details for operational reasons, they say that “significant progress has been made in the investigation so far”.
It is understood that gardaí has searched for a number of properties, including in Offaly and one in Dublin.
An urgent appeal for information on a bicycle was launched yesterday, amid strong local anxiety over the news that the killer was still on the loose.
The distinctive Falcon Storm mountain bike is described as having “straight handlebars and distinctive yellow / green front forks”.
In particular, the gardaís are asking people in Tullamore to remember whether they saw the bike before 4pm on Wednesday, when Ms. Murphy was killed, or “in the days / weeks before”.
The gardaí man awaiting questioning is intended to be tied to the motorcycle.
The agents still believe that Ms. Murphy was the victim of a random attack at the hands of someone unknown to her.
She was targeted while exercising along the Grand Canal in Tullamore.
A number of witnesses who were in the area at the time have contacted gardaí, but agents are still hoping more members of the public will come forward with information.
In a statement, they stated: “An Garda Síochána wishes to acknowledge the support of the public to date and in order to assist the public in providing information to the investigation team, a dedicated telephone line 057 9357060 has been set up at the Tullamore garda station.
“An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all people who have not come into contact with the investigation team and who have information about this deadly attack to come forward.”
The detectives also asked any person who was in downtown Tullamore or the wider access roads to the Grand Canal Way near Cappincur on Wednesday to check for any footage from any dashcam, CCTV, cell phone or GoPro they might have. .
Meanwhile, the man’s lawyer released after more than 24 hours in custody said his life was “ruined” by the situation.
The man, who is no longer a suspect in the murder, remains in a safe place for his own protection.
It is understood that he had repeatedly denied any involvement in the murder during the interviews in Garda.
Attorney Donal Farrelly told al Independent Irish his client’s life was made “unbearable” after he was identified online.
Mr. Farrelly, of Donal Farrelly & Co Solicitors, also said that people cannot lose sight of what happened to Ms. Murphy, but that her client has been mistakenly “disparaged” by people.
“Doesn’t that show the vital importance of the presumption of innocence?” He said. “This is the most important thing that comes out of it and we need to keep it in our focus.
“It is a terrible tragedy what happened to this lady, what happened to her and her family, but this man has been vilified on social media.
“Absolutely vilified and everyone clearly identified who he was on social media.
“It made his life unbearable, I would say.
“It’s terrible: the amount of pain, anger and rage about him on social media is frightening.”
The man was released after investigators concluded that he had been misidentified as the person who assaulted Ms. Murphy.
In a statement released just before 11pm on Thursday, gardaí confirmed that the man had been “eliminated” from their investigation and “is no longer a suspect”.
It is understood that there was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime scene.