Peter O’Mahony pays touching tribute to Ashling Murphy after Munster’s win in France

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony

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Peter O'Mahony said his Munster team had Ashling Murphy in their thoughts after their European Champions Cup victory over Castres on Friday.

Murphy, 23, was attacked and killed while out for a jog in Cappincur, to the east of Tullamore, on Wednesday.

The school teacher's murder has shocked the community and the whole country, with a series of emotional vigils held for the young woman on Friday.

Munster had to travel to France this week to take on Castres at the Stade Pierre-Fabre, where a late try from Gavin Coombes sealed a dramatic victory.

But the province's captain O'Mahony said in his post-match interview that it was a hollow win for the team.

“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.

He added: “I’m sure everyone’s thoughts are with her family, 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.”

Ashling, who taught first class students at Durrow National School in Tullamore, has been described by her mother Kathleen as a "brilliant girl in every sense of the word."

Gardai say they have made significant progress on the murder investigation and sources believe they are close to making a breakthrough in the coming days.

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