Monday 9 December 2019

'It wasn't going to be Christmas without her' – Family of Kym Owens (18) on how their lives are 'turned upside down'

Maynooth student Kym Owens
Maynooth student Kym Owens
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

THE family of injured student, Kym Owens said that “Christmas was cancelled” this year, as the 18-year-old remains in an induced coma following an unexplained incident last November.

The law student was walking to her accommodation in Maynooth when it is understood she was attacked. She sustained serious head and facial injuries in the incident last November. Members of her family spoke to reporter Brian O'Connell from RTE's Sean O'Rourke show this week.

Maynooth student Kym Owens
Maynooth student Kym Owens

On Tuesday night, a local fundraising concert was held for Kym where her family spoke about their ordeal.

Some 800 people attended the concert in the Glencarn hotel in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan to raise funds for Kym’s recovery.

Two function rooms in the hotel were filled with guests as acts Big Tom and Declan Nerney took to the stage. Nathan Carter also donated a jacket to be raffled off on the night.

After last night’s event, over €35,000 has been raised for the Kym Owen’s recovery fund.

At the event, the Owens family told the show they have received a “huge outpouring” of generosity, both locally and nationally.

Kym’s uncle, Thomas McNee, thanked the public on behalf of the family for their “support and prayers”.

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

“On behalf of the Owen’s family, my sincerest and deepest thank you to everyone from the four corners of Ireland for your well wishes and prayers at this difficult time," he said.

“We are truly touched by everyone who offered their support.”

As Kym remains in an induced coma in Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Mr McNee also thanked the staff at Beaumont and Connolly Hospital for their “compassion and dedicated care”.

 “We cannot express our thanks enough. Please continue to keep Kym in your prayers so that she will gain a full recovery.”

Mr McNee told RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke show that Kym was a “fun and bubbly” student who loved sports.

“She just began college life. She was settling in nicely and getting on with her studies.”

Kym - who is the youngest in the family - has one sister and two older brothers.

“Christmas was cancelled this year. Even the neighbours said they weren’t celebrating Christmas. Especially because she was the youngest in the house, it wasn’t going to be Christmas without her," he said.

Mr McNee recalled the horror moment he heard Kym had been assaulted.

“I was home in bed when my sister rang. It was early days and the reports were that she was assaulted. Life turned upside down in a heartbeat.

“You never expect it to come to your own door. It’s been a very tough and trying on the family.”

As gardai continue to appeal for information, Mr McNee called on anyone with information to come forward.

“I would say examine your conscience. It could be your brother or sister in that hospital bed. Take that leap of faith and go to the gardai with anything you know. Any small bit of information can make a breakthrough.”

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