Wednesday 14 November 2018

'My mother's death robbed me of justice for my baby'

Ali Bracken

A WOMAN who believes her mother murdered her new-born infant told yesterday of her torment over the fact that her mum had died peacefully while her baby girl had suffered a "terrible death". Cynthia Owen claims she was the mother of an infant found stabbed to death 33 years ago. She also claims gardai knew about the murder and did nothing.

A WOMAN who believes her mother murdered her new-born infant told yesterday of her torment over the fact that her mum had died peacefully while her baby girl had suffered a "terrible death".

Cynthia Owen claims she was the mother of an infant found stabbed to death 33 years ago. She also alleges that gardai knew about the murder and did nothing.

The inquest into the baby's death 33 years ago was reopened in September 2005 after legal representations were made on behalf of Ms Owen, who came forward 11 years ago saying she was the mother of the baby girl, called Noleen.

Ms Owen has claimed the baby was one of two she gave birth to while still a child after she was sexually abused during the 1970s when she was living in Dalkey in south Dublin.

Ms Owen alleges that her mother stabbed the infant to death with a knitting needle immediately after the birth before dumping its body in a laneway in Dun Laoghaire.

She has claimed that the second infant - a stillborn baby boy - was buried in the back garden of her family home in Dalkey but a garda search a year and a half ago did not uncover any remains.

The inquest was yesterday adjourned at Dublin County Coroner's Court until February 13.

"This is now the fourth time Noleen's inquest has been adjourned and it is simply not good enough because the gardai have had over 33 years to solve this case," Ms Owen said in a statement outside the court.

"And bearing in mind that on the night my daughter was murdered on April 4, 1973, my mother, who I witnessed murdering my daughter, came into contact with three members of the gardai on two separate occasions within one hour of my daughter being murdered.

"And on both occasions my mother was holding the bag that had Noleen's body in it. That bag was found the next day with Noleen's body less than 24 hours after she had been murdered and yet my mother was never charged with murder and died peacefully only a few weeks ago while my daughter died a terrible death."

She added that she believed that when the inquest was heard in full a verdict of death by unlawful killing would be returned.

"This, in effect, will mean that it took me over 33 long, painful years to prove something that gardai knew within an hour."

Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty yesterday adjourned the inquest, saying he could not proceed because the garda file in relation to the death had only been furnished to him 11 days earlier and he needed time to study it.

Dr Geraghty said it had not been necessary for the gardai to send the file to the Attorney General and added that the inquest would be heard on February 13 next.

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