Friday 23 March 2018

Bad weather hampers CCTV hunt for new clues on Maynooth attack

Maynooth student Kym Owens
Maynooth student Kym Owens
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Gardaí investigating the brutal attack on student Kym Owens in Maynooth are hoping that CCTV images from three cameras picked up her progress on the route home.

They are anxious to pinpoint whether Kym was followed home after getting off her bus from her hometown of Monaghan, or if someone lay in wait for her as she turned into the housing estate where she is in digs at around 8.30pm on Sunday night.

The Irish Independent yesterday retraced the steps that Kym is likely to have taken just before she was brutally assaulted.

The major difficulty gardaí are facing in tracing Kym's movements is that it was not only dark at the time she made her way home, it was extremely foggy too.

Gardaí say Kym is likely to have got off the bus at one of two stops in Maynooth. The first is in the centre of the town, the second is at the northern campus of the university where she is a first year Arts student.

If Kym got off on the Main Street she would then have walked to the junction with Mill Street, crossed the bridge over the river at Dunnes Stores, and then walked up the Moyglare Road and turned left into Moyglare Abbey Estate where she was attacked.

Reporter Conor Feehan at the scene in Maynooth where student Kym Owens was attacked Photo: Gerry Mooney
Reporter Conor Feehan at the scene in Maynooth where student Kym Owens was attacked Photo: Gerry Mooney

Taking this route would have taken her under a traffic camera at the junction of Main Street and Mill Street, and past another camera at the entrance to Dunnes Stores.

A third traffic camera on the junction with the Kilcock Road may also have picked up her image.

Another option open to Kym would have been to stay on the bus until it turned from Main Street to Mill Street, and then turned down the Kilcock Road to a stop at the northern campus.

But this would have meant a walk back up to the junction at Dunnes Stores to join the Moyglare Road, where she would have turned left to proceed towards Moyglare Abbey Estate.

If Kym walked this route she could have passed under the traffic camera at the Moyglare/Kilcock Road junction. While there are some businesses in the town that have CCTV cameras in lower positions, most point directly at the doorways.

Kym's route home would have been approximately one kilometre.

From the town of Maynooth it is a straight road that passes many houses as well as some schools and a St John of God training premises.

"On a sunny day our camera might pick up a person walking by the gate, but there's no way it would see them on a dark, foggy night," said a spokeswoman for the Maynooth Education Campus which Kym would have passed on foot.

Read More: 'No evidence of weapon being used' in horrific attack on student

"It's an awful case and we hope that the attacker is found soon," she said.

A worker at the John of God Training Centre had the same story to tell, and there are no cameras aimed at the street.

After passing the education campus, Kym would have walked past Maynooth GAA club, the entrance of which is not covered by CCTV, then past Moyglare Village housing estate on her left.

Rounding the corner on a bitterly cold and foggy winter night, Kym was nearly home, but yards later she was either attacked by someone who was following her, or someone who was lying in wait.

Irish Independent

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