Ashling Murphy, 23, of Tullamore, central Ireland, was beaten to death on the Grand Canal Way in Capincur, Tullamore, around 4 p.m. local time, police said.
“At this stage there is no information that the victim and her killer knew each other. From the interrogation so far, we believe the crime was committed by a man who acted alone,” said Tullamore Garda station Superintendent Eamon Curley, said in a statement.
“At the scene, Gardai found a young woman seriously injured. Medical assistance was provided, but despite the efforts of the medical team, the young woman died,” Curley’s statement said. “The injuries we believe at this time are consistent with the attack.”
Family Liaison Unit personnel are providing assistance to the family, the statement said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ashling’s family at this time and indeed the wider community, his teaching colleagues and the children he has taught who are without their teacher today,” Curley said.
A 40-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is currently being detained, Ireland’s national police force, known as Gardai, said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.
The police is appealing to the public for information and is appealing to any person living in the canal area to come forward on Wednesday afternoon.
Ireland’s Justice Minister Helen McEntee also urged anyone with information to contact the police.
“My thoughts tonight are with the family, friends and community of the young woman killed in a truly shocking crime,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
According to college president Eugene Wall, Murphy had just graduated from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick three months earlier.
“The entire MIC community is shocked and shocked to hear about the tragic and senseless murder,” he tweeted on Thursday.
“Our heartfelt sympathies” are with his family, friends, colleagues and students, he said.