Gardai appeal for witnesses to savage attack on Maynooth student

Kym Owens (18) in serious but stable condition

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Email:

henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Gardai appeal for witnesses to savage attack on Maynooth student

Gardai at the scene in Maynooth earlier today

Gardai investigating the serious attack that occurred near the entrance of the Moyglare Abbey Estate, Maynooth, have named the student who was seriously assaulted around 8.30pm on Sunday.

At a press conference at 12.30pm this afternoon, at the scene of the crime at Moyglare Abbey estate, Garda Superintendent Gerry Wall of Leixlip Garda Station named the girl as Kym Owens (18), a native of  Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.

Kym, an Arts student at Maynooth University, was attacked within 500m of her digs in the estate, and was found, unconscious, at a location around 50m inside the entrance of the estate.

Supt Wall described her as being in “a stable condition” at the ICU unit in Blanchardstown Hospital. She had “extensive head injuries”.

Her parents are at her bedside, he said, and they have asked for privacy. He said her condition had not changed much up to this morning. She is in “a serious but stable condition”.

Supt Wall said the assault was very serious and asked for the public help with any information, particularly those who were in the vicinity of Maynooth Village/Moyglare Abbey Estate between 7.30pm and 9.15pm on night Sunday night, November 20.

Witnesses are asked to contact the incident room in Leixlip Garda Station on 01 6667800, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line, 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

The scene has been preserved for technical examination. No arrests have been made.

Supt Wall said Kym is 5ft 3ins and has long brown hair. She was wearing a dark green coat with a hood and there was a red hood inside her coat. She also wore black jeans and a white shoes.

On Sunday evening she took the AB bus from Monaghan town to Maynooth, via Slane, which arrived in Maynooth around 8.15pm.

Her estate is around one kilometre from the town centre and she was about 500m from her digs when she was seriously assaulted and left unconscious on the path.

Supt Wall said he had been provided with extra Garda resources for this investigation and they are appealing to the public for any help whatsoever, no matter, how trivial people may think it is.

He said they were keeping an open mind as to whether there was one or more attackers or whether the attacker/s were on the bus from Monaghan, or came upon her in the area,

Supt Wall said the attacker appeared to have been “in a very agitated state” and asked people to try and recall if they met anyone, including friends of theirs, who were agitated or had marks on their clothes.

“Any information, no matter how trivial, may provide a link,” he said.

Supt Wall said the attack took place in a quiet part of a town which has a lot of students. It is “a quiet and respectable area”.

The assault was “a very rare occurrence” and the “fullest support” would be given to policing locally.

Supt Wall said he would be speaking to students in Maynooth at Maynooth Students Union this afternoon.

He said Gardai are keeping an “open mind” as to whether it was a random attack.

Asked by media about advice to students, particularly female students, Supt Wall said that if possible they should try not to travel alone, keep a phone with them  and tell someone about their expected departure and arrival times.

Regarding Garda resources in the area, Supt Wall said that in December there will be further Garda resources coming from Templemore as a result of an allocation announced in September.

Asked for a comment, Kildare County Cllr Reada Cronin, who lives around 40m from the scene of the attack, and whose daughter is a student at Maynooth University, told the Leader that she did not hear anything at the time the assault on Sunday evening.

Cllr Cronin said there has been calls for Maynooth Garda Station to have longer opening hours.