Ashling Murphy, 23, of Tullamore, central Ireland, was found beaten to death around 4:00 p.m. local time (11:00 a.m.ET) on the Grand Canal Way at Cappincur in Tullamore, police said.
“At this stage, there is no indication that the victim and his killer knew each other. From the investigations we have carried out to date, we believe that this crime was committed by a man who acted alone,” said Superintendent Eamonn Curley of Tullamore Garda Station. , said in a statement.
“At the scene, Gardaí discovered a seriously injured young woman. Medical treatment was provided but despite the efforts of the medical team who attended to, this young woman died,” said the statement from Curley. “The injuries that we believe at the moment are compatible with assault.”
Staff in the Family Liaison Unit provide support to the family, the statement said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ashling’s family at this time and indeed the community at large, her fellow teachers and the children she taught and who are deprived of their teacher today,” Curley added.
A man in his 40s has been arrested in connection with the incident and is currently being held, Irish National Police, known as Gardaí, said Thursday in a statement to CNN.
Police are appealing to the public for information and urging everyone in the canal area on Wednesday afternoon to come forward.
Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee has also urged anyone with information to contact the police.
“My thoughts tonight are with the family of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime, her friends and her community,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
Murphy graduated from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick just three months ago, according to college president Eugene Wall.
“The entire MIC community is heartbroken and deeply shocked to hear about this tragic and senseless murder,” he tweeted on Thursday.
He said that “our sincere condolences” go to his family, friends, colleagues and students.