Neighbours responded to screams of student (18) who was left with horrific face injuries in violent beating
Student 'critical' after being beaten while walking home
A student who was violently beaten as she walked home in Maynooth was left with head injuries, broken eye sockets, a smashed nose and had several teeth knocked out.
The Co Monaghan teenager had taken a bus from her family home on Sunday night, and was walking from the town of Maynooth, Co Kildare, to her student accommodation in the Moyglare Abbey Estate when she was set upon shortly before 8.30pm.
Neighbours nearby heard the 18-year-old's screams and rushed to her aid. The victim was rushed to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, where she is in a critical condition.
No arrests have yet been made and gardaí at Leixlip are appealing for any witnesses to come forward as well as anyone on a private bus from Monaghan that arrived in Maynooth at 8.15pm on Sunday.
Friends of the girl's family in Castleblaney said they were shocked at the brutal, unprovoked attack.
Stephen Dignam, chairman of the local Castleblaney Faughs GAA club, said the young woman was always willing to help out and get involved.
"I just would be very concerned about her at this stage," he told the Irish Independent.
"We haven't heard anything from the family yet. We're trying to make contact with them.
"She plays here and she'd help out. She's been a great person around the club."
Locals in the estate where her family live were disgusted to hear about the incident. They said her parents were in the hospital with her.
"She is just such a lovely girl," one local woman said. "She is very slight and well mannered."
Another local man said: "She's got her whole life ahead of her and we pray to God she gets through."
Meanwhile in Maynooth, residents Patrick and Chris Kirrane said they were appalled.
"We've never heard of anything like this here before. It's such a quiet estate. We are numbed by it all," Chris said. "There are quite a few students from the university staying in accommodation here, especially first years. I hope they catch whoever did this and that the poor girl will recover."
The motive for the attack is unknown but locals said the young woman's phone, bag and laptop were not taken, so robbery is unlikely.
Maynooth University students yesterday said they could not believe the news.
"I live in the estate and it is always quiet and safe. It's awful to think this could happen," law student Elaine Fallon (19) said.
Rebecca Doyle (18), from Co Wexford, typifies many of the students who travel home at weekends.
"I passed by here at around 10pm and it was sealed off by gardaí. It's frightening," the science student said.
Maynooth University issued a statement saying its entire community was disturbed to hear of the serious incident.
"Our immediate thoughts are with the student and her family," it said.
"The safety and well-being of all our students is of the utmost importance to us."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Leixlip Garda station on 01 6667800, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111, or any garda station.