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Friday 19 January 2018

'Horror house' victim wants her case reopened

Abused mother of murdered baby girl appeals to Justice Minister as mass said for daughter

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

THE Dublin woman who was raped by her father and other members of a paedophile ring as a child and gave birth to a baby girl which was murdered immediately after birth is appealing to the Gardai and Minister for Justice to reopen the case.

Cynthia Owen, who now lives in Wales, is returning to Ireland this week for a commemorative Mass on what would have been her daughter's 40th birthday.

Ms Owen posthumously christened her daughter Noleen and a Mass is being held in her memory at the Church of the Assumption in Dalkey, Co Dublin, on Thursday evening.

The baby was stabbed to death with a knitting needle shortly after birth at the Murphy family home – which became known as the 'Dalkey House of Horrors' – and the body dumped in an alleyway in Dun Laoghaire in 1973. Cynthia was 11 at the time.

Although there were local suspicions about her father, Peter, and a number of other paedophiles in the area at the time who visited the house, no arrests were made or charges brought.

Ms Owen has stated that one of the men who paid her father to rape her as a child was a garda. Peter Murphy died in 2008.

Ms Owen was one of nine children who grew up in the abusive house in White's Villas in Dalkey. She said her father began raping her from when she was eight. Her brother Martin, who was also raped and abused, committed suicide at the age of 27. Her niece, Theresa, who was brought up as her sister and also raped by Peter Murphy and other men, committed suicide at the age of 33.

Another brother, Michael, also died, possibly from suicide. He disappeared in 2002 but his remains were not found until two years later.

The case was re-examined by the garda cold case unit in 2005 but did not progress due to the absence of evidence. A number of men including a retired garda were questioned. Several members of the ring still live in the area.

Ms Owen said she hoped the Mass would highlight "the fact that the people responsible have had 40 years of freedom".

Ms Owen succeeded in having an inquest into her daughter's death held in February 2007. The jury found the baby was that of Cynthia Owen and that she had been stabbed to death.

Irish Independent

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