Peter O’Mahony: ‘Sombre mood’ in Munster dressing room following tragic death of Ashling Murphy

MUNSTER BOOKED THEIR place in the knockout stages of the European Champions Cup by way of a last-gasp Gavin Coombes try in Castres on Friday night but captain Peter O’Mahony admitted that his side’s French visit had been tinged with sadness following the tragic death of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore.

Ms Murphy, a 23-year-old primary school teacher, was attacked and killed while out for a jog in Cappincur, to the east of the Co Offaly town, at around 4pm on Wednesday.

While a garda investigation into her murder continues, dozens of vigils took place around the country on Friday in Ashling’s memory.

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of Munster’s victory at Stade Pierre-Fabre, O’Mahony spoke on behalf of the southern province in paying his respects to the Murphy family and Ashling’s loved ones.

The Ireland international admitted that the impact of Ashling’s death had been felt by Munster’s travelling party to the south of France.

“We’re certainly happy with the performance — or certainly happy with the win — but look, I suppose, given everything that’s gone on at home, there’s a kind of a little bit of a sombre mood in our dressing room after what’s gone on,” O’Mahony said.

We weren’t able to be a part of all the tributes and vigils for Ashling Murphy at home, the shocking act that happened. She was part of our community in Limerick having gone to Mary I.


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“I’m sure everyone’s thoughts are with her family”, O’Mahony added, “and particularly on behalf of everyone in the dressing room and in Munster Rugby, our thoughts are with Ashling’s parents and family, and extended family and friends… Thoughts are with ye.”

A 40-year-old man was arrested a short time after Ms Murphy’s body was discovered on Wednesday but, after questioning by gardaí, he was released without charge. Gardaí have been keen to reiterate that he is no longer a suspect.

However, they say they are making “significant progress” in their investigation.

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