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Sunday 28 May 2017

Kym 'has no memory of night she was left with critical injuries' - dad

Kym Owens
Kym Owens

An 18-year-old student who suffered devastating injuries to her head and face in a mysterious incident in Maynooth last November is facing more surgery on her road to recovery, her family has said.

Speaking to the Herald, the father of Kym Owens said his young daughter still has no idea what happened to her that night, but is "up and about" after months in hospital.

Kym, who is from Co Monaghan but was living in Maynooth while studying at university there, was found on the footpath at the entrance to the Moyglare Abbey estate on the night of November 20.

Scream

The alarm was raised when neighbours heard a scream, and they found Kym with critical injuries, including broken eye sockets, a broken jaw and a broken nose. She also lost several teeth in the incident.

It was a very cold and foggy night, and Kym had just minutes earlier alighted from her bus from Monaghan.

She was in an induced coma at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown for many weeks after the incident.

Gardai immediately launched an investigation into what they suspected was an assault on the young student.

However, another theory later emerged that Kym, who is very slight in stature, may have suffered her injuries because of a heavy fall onto her face.

It is understood she was carrying a very heavy bag on her back and had shoes attached to her knapsack, hanging loose, which could have potentially caused a fall. She could also have slipped on ice and fallen forward. Another theory gardai have examined is whether Kym was struck by a vehicle.

She has since been discharged from hospital and continues her recovery at home with her family.

While the family has so far largely kept silent, her father Ray told the Herald: "Kym is making a good recovery but is still facing more surgery.

"She is not back at college yet but is up and about. She still doesn't remember anything of the incident."

Asked if there was any idea about what may have happened to cause Kym's injuries, Ray Owens said it was still unclear.

"We are hoping she'll make as full a recovery as possible," he said.

There have been no arrests in the case so far, despite gardai interviewing almost 300 people.

The investigation has been hampered by poor-quality CCTV footage because of the heavy fog on the night.

Collections have taken place both in Maynooth and Kym's hometown of Castleblayney to raise cash for her family, with around €40,000 collected.

Kym left her Co Monaghan home and boarded the A2B bus at around 6.15pm on November 20, arriving in Maynooth two hours later.

Conscience

She then walked a kilometre to the Moyglare Abbey estate, where gardai initially believed she arrived sometime between 8.15pm and 8.40pm. Officers said Kym, a first-year arts student, suffered "extensive head injuries".

The bus had made stops at Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Ardee and Slane before reaching Maynooth. There were 53 people on board and gardai have interviewed all of these passengers as part of their long-running probe.

In December, Kym's uncle, Thomas McNee, appealed for information on RTE's Sean O'Rourke Show.

"Examine your conscience. It could be your daughter or sister in that hospital," he said.

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