Maynooth attacker may have followed victim from Co Monaghan

Kym Owens (18) suffered life-threatening injuries in ‘extremely violent’ attack on Sunday

Kym Owens (18), from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, was walking to her student accommodation in the Moyglare Abbey Estate on the outskirts of Maynooth when she was attacked at about 8.30pm. Photograph: Facebook

Kym Owens (18), from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, was walking to her student accommodation in the Moyglare Abbey Estate on the outskirts of Maynooth when she was attacked at about 8.30pm. Photograph: Facebook

 

Gardaí are trying to establish if Kym Owens (18) was followed from Co Monaghan to Maynooth, Co Kildare, before being attacked just metres from her student accommodation.

The first-year Maynooth University student sustained life-threatening head injuries when she was assaulted while walking to her accommodation in the Moyglare Abbey Estate on the outskirts of Maynooth at 8.30pm on Sunday.

Ms Owens, from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, had just disembarked the bus she had taken to Maynooth from Monaghan town.

Garda sources said Ms Owens, who suffered multiple head and facial bone fractures and major soft tissue injuries in the attack, had used a private bus service.

It is a weekly service that departs Monaghan town at 6pm and reaches Maynooth about two hours later.

It stops to pick up additional passengers at Castleblayney and Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan.

Trace

It then stops again to collect passengers at Ardee, Co Louth, and at Collon and Slane, in Co Meath. From Slane, the service goes straight to Maynooth, where it makes three stops, before terminating at Maynooth North Campus.

Gardaí are now trying to trace an estimated 40 people who were on the bus at any time during its journey from Monaghan to Maynooth.

They are trying to establish if the attacker was a passenger who got off the bus at the same location as Ms Owens and attacked her. It is believed CCTV is available from inside the bus.

The Garda team based in Maynooth is also making inquiries in the towns where the bus stopped to pick up passengers.

CCTV footage

Investigators are also trying to source CCTV footage recorded in the areas where the bus stopped.

However, gardaí have not settled on the possibility the attacker was on the bus with Ms Owens as the main avenue of inquiry.

Gardaí believe local people from the Moyglare Abbey Estate or other parts of Maynooth may have vital information about who the attacker is or may have witnessed them at the time of the assault.

It is unclear if a weapon or implement was used, although Garda sources said the attack was “extremely violent”.

Ms Owens remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.