Saturday 25 March 2017

'Kym doing as well as she can' - Dad of student speaks one week on from brutal attack

Maynooth student Kym Owens
Maynooth student Kym Owens

Ian Begley

The 18-year-old Maynooth student brutally attacked as she returned home from college is “doing as well as she can”, according to her father.

Last night, Kym Owens' family stayed by her bedside, where she remains in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit of Connolly Hospital.

Kym’s father Ray told The Sunday World that she is “doing as well as she can”.

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

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

A senior source told the newspaper: “The primary concern is that Kym recovers and investigators will exercise great patience before reaching the stage where they will try and speak with her."

“She may have information that could be crucial to identifying the person who did this to her.”

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 had been punched repeatedly in the face, most likely by a male 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.

Kym Owens
Kym Owens

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. The Garda dog unit has also been seen in Maynooth.

Gardaí are conducting door-to-door inquiries in a bid to eliminate suspects. They are tracking down and interviewing all those were seen in the area around the time of the attack.

Kym, who is from Castleblaney, 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.

Gardai 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 attacked her.

A source told the Sunday Independent: "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."

Garda are working tirelessly on interviewing people who were seen around the areas 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 gardai.

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