Ashling Murphy was an "inspiration to so many," says school principal
Ashling taught first class in Durrow National School.
Tributes have been pouring in for primary school teacher Ashling Murphy, who was murdered in Tullamore yesterday afternoon.
The 23-year-old was out for a run when she was killed alongside the banks of the Grand Canal. A man in his 40s is currently being held in Garda custody.
The principal of the school she worked in - Durrow National School - paid tribute to Ms Murphy on RTÉ's News at One.
Mr James Hogan said that there wasn't a "dry eye" in the school where Ashling taught first class.
He said: "Ashling was a shining light to the kids and a very professional, talented young teacher, a lady who had extraordinary sports, musical and choral talents.
"She was an inspiration to so many, not only in our school, but across the wider community of schools and other organisations in the area that she was involved with.
"It's very, very hard to think that she was here in school yesterday as a teacher and teaching her first class students who they adored, and today, they have come in with little tears in their eyes and their teacher not there."
A memorial has been set up in honour of Ashling at the school, and Mr Hogan said that his "top priority" is caring for the students and staff in the wake of this awful tragedy.
Ashling studied at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, and the institution also honoured her memory.
They said: "It is with profound sadness and shock that we learned of the untimely and tragic death of Ashling Murphy, who graduated from MIC as a primary teacher only three months ago.
"Ashling, a talented musician and performer, had just commenced her teaching career in Durrow National School, Co Offaly, when her young and promising life was cruelly snatched away from her.
"The thoughts and prayers of the entire MIC community go out to her family, friends, colleagues and students."
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly spoke about the murder during RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne.
He said: "To be taken in such a way and in such a location that is enjoyed by so many ... To be taken by such a senseless and horrific act."
The National Women's Council of Ireland has arranged for a vigil to take place in honour of Ashling outside Dáil Éireann at 4pm tomorrow.