Thursday 30 March 2017

Local residents join gardai to retrace steps of student Kym Owens to 'jog memories'

A local Garda at a checkpoint near the entrance to Moyglare Abbey Estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted. Photo: Damien Eagers
A local Garda at a checkpoint near the entrance to Moyglare Abbey Estate in Maynooth where Kym Owens was assaulted. Photo: Damien Eagers
Maynooth student Kym Owens
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Gardaí have returned to the scene of last week’s savage attack on teenage student Kym Owens in Maynooth.

Officers were retracing the 18-year-old’s movements in the Moyglare Abbey Estate in the Co Kildare town, exactly one week after the attack.

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

Kym is recovering from numerous injuries – including a broken jaw, broken eye sockets and a broken nose.

An officer with a sniffer dog was among the units on the scene, as around 20 locals also came out to aid in efforts. Some of the residents who were out last night were among the first on the scene to help the injured student.

Gardaí were trying to jog people’s memories as well as trying to identify any evidence that might have been at the scene and slipped through the net. Officers also set up a checkpoint on the road.

Last night, Kym’s family kept a vigil at her bedside. Her father Ray said that she is “doing as well as she can”.

Kym Owens. Picture released to help with investigation.
Kym Owens. Picture released to help with investigation.

Investigating gardaí are hopeful that the first-year arts student will have information on her attacker when she wakes up in hospital.

Motive

Investigators are still searching for a motive for the attack. Kym was not sexually assaulted, nor were any of her belongings taken.

Gardaí believe she was punched repeatedly in the face, most likely by a man because of the sheer force of the blows and the extent of her head injuries.

No witnesses have come forward and the assailant remains at large, with local CCTV footage said to be of poor quality because of the foggy conditions at the time.

It is understood the investigation team, led by Superintendent Gerry Wall, has drafted in officers from the technical bureau to scour the area for clues that the attacker may have left at the scene.

Kym, who is from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, had been home to see her family at the weekend. She took a private bus back to Maynooth on the evening that she was attacked.

Gardaí are trying to trace an estimated 40 people who were on the bus along its journey from Monaghan to Maynooth.

They are investigating if the attacker was a passenger who followed Kym when she got off in Maynooth and then assaulted her.

“There is very little to go on. Fog has clouded the quality of the CCTV footage. There is no reason why this should happen to this girl,” a source said.

“Gardaí are working tirelessly on interviewing people who were seen around the area at the time and eliminating suspects.”

Supt Wall renewed an appeal for information on Friday, asking anyone who was on the bus or witnesses in Maynooth to come forward and speak to gardaí.

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