Wednesday 24 May 2017

Extra gardaí drafted as attacker who brutally beat student at large

Gardaí in the Moyglare Abbey estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Gardaí in the Moyglare Abbey estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Alan O'Keeffe

Extra gardaí have been drafted into Maynooth following the violent assault of university student Kym Owens.

Garda chiefs confirmed that additional gardaí have been deployed as a major investigation has been launched to find Ms Owens's attacker.

The young woman from Castleblayney in Co Monaghan is in "serious" but stable condition in the intensive care unit of Blanchardstown Hospital in Dublin.

Her injuries include broken eye sockets, a broken jaw, broken nose, and she lost several teeth.

Ms Owens (18) was attacked as she walked to her student digs in the Moyglare Abbey housing estate in Co Kildare after getting off a bus.

Gardaí made a renewed appeal for information yesterday as they issued a photograph of Ms Owens in an effort to track down her attacker.

It is understood gardaí are examining CCTV footage from the bus Ms Owens travelled on.

Read more: Neighbours responded to screams of student (18) who was left with horrific face injuries in violent beating

It was "very, very possible" that the unknown attacker or attackers could have been on the same bus as Ms Owens, which went from Monaghan to Maynooth on Sunday night.

It is one of several different possibilities being examined by gardaí.

Kym Owens: viciously beaten on way home
Kym Owens: viciously beaten on way home

Garda Superintendent Gerry Wall, speaking at the scene of the attack yesterday, said someone may have seen a person on that night with marks on their clothing or body.

The person may have been in "an agitated state".

Foggy conditions on the streets of Maynooth had reduced visibility.

Supt Wall said: "We appeal to the public...their information is vital, however trivial it seems, as it could be the vital link.

"Kym is five feet three inches tall...with long brown hair. She was wearing a dark green coat with a hood. She also wore a red hoodie and black jeans."

Gardaí also said Ms Owens was wearing white Converse runners and carried a distinctive green bag with a yellow handle.

Read more: Attacker may have followed Maynooth student from bus - gardaí confirm

Gardaí addressed more than 80 students at a meeting at the college yesterday.

They appealed for information and gave advice about personal safety.

Student Rachel Smyth (19), also from Monaghan, said: "I usually take the same bus as Kym on Sunday nights but not last Sunday. Women are scared."

An incident room at Leixlip garda station can be contacted at 01 6667800.

Irish Independent

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