Why was the wrong person arrested in the Ashling Murphy murder investigation?

The statement, issued by the Garda Headquarters Press Office at 10.55 pm on Thursday, was without precedent in the modern era.

Not only was the man arrested in the Ashling Murphy (23) murder investigation released without charge, but Gardai confirmed it was now certain he had no involvement in the crime.

“This man has been removed from the Garda inquiry and is no longer a suspect,” the statement confirmed, urging the editors to “clearly and unequivocally state” their lack of involvement in the crime.

During the two days of interrogation, The Irish Times understands, he has denied any involvement in a crime that has shocked the public.

At least one person close to him told Gardai that they were with him at the time of the murder, far away from the attack. However, it was forensic evidence that confirmed his innocence.

Gardai believes that the same forensic evidence – quickly gathered on the Grand Canal Topath in the hours following the crime – will bring the killer to justice.

Even before the late night statement, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, speaking in Tullamore, made it clear that Garda had not closed other lines of investigation, even though one person was being questioned.

A new person of interest was identified yesterday, and Gardai waited to speak to him last night while he was being treated for multiple injuries at a Dublin hospital.