Jozef Puska has been found guilty of murdering Irish schoolteacher Ashling Murphy, 23, in Tullamore, Co Offaly on January 12, 2022.

Puska, who had pleaded not guilty during his trial in the Central Criminal Court, faces a mandatory life sentence. He will be sentenced on November 17.

The jury of nine men and three women held deliberations for less than a half hour on Wednesday before resuming this morning, Thursday, November 9.

In court for the verdict were Ashling Murphy's parents, siblings, and boyfriend.

Members of Puska's family, including his parents, were also present in the crowded courtroom, the Irish Times reports.

After the unanimous verdict was delivered, Justice Tony Hunt thanked the jury for their service and exempted them from further duty for 20 years, The Journal reports. 

He said the prompt verdict reflected that it was a straightforward case and that he agreed with the verdict and was satisfied it was correct.

However, Justice Hunt said there was no doubt the case was “difficult and upsetting."

RTÉ reports that Justice Hunt that said he would hear victim impact statements from Murphy's family before sentencing Puska.

The murder of Irish woman Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy, 23, was fatally attacked while she was out for a jog along the canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly at around 4 pm on January 12, 2022.

The shocking incident sent shockwaves not only through Ireland but also through the global Irish community.

Puska, with an address listed as Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co Offaly, was arrested on January 18, 2022, and was charged on the following day, the day of Murphy's funeral in Co Offaly.

Puska was sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court on April 6, 2022, after being served with a book of evidence. Later that month, Justice Paul McDermott set a trial date of June 6, 2023, which was later postponed until October.

Puska was granted free legal aid, including representation of junior and senior counsel at the trial.