‘Examine your conscience. It could be your daughter or sister in that hospital. Take a leap of faith. Go to the Gardaí’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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It has been over seven weeks since Kym Owens, an 18-year-old student from Castleblaney, County Monaghan, was found a short distance from her accommodation in Maynooth with serious injuries.

Since then, Kym has been in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit at Connolly Hospital, in Blanchardstown, where her condition is described as serious but stable.

At this time, and even following hundreds of interviews by Gardai, mystery surrounds the incident which led to Kym’s injuries, a situation which is exacerbating the pain felt by her family.

Last night, reporter Brian O’Connell met with members of the Owens family at a fundraising concert for Kym in their hometown of Castleblaney. And this morning, Brian spoke to Sean O’Rourke about how the family is coping. Unsurprisingly, the Christmas period was enormously difficult, as outlined by Kym’s uncle, Thomas McNee.

“It wasn’t a Christmas at all, Christmas was cancelled, naturally enough. Even the neighbours around said they weren’t celebrating Christmas.”

Thomas McNee also appealed to people who may have information to come forward immediately, to try to recall what they might have seen on that evening, Sunday, the 20th of November, last year. Kym had taken a bus to Maynooth from Castleblayney on that Sunday, getting off the bus at approximately 8:15 PM. She was found seriously injured on the footpath at the entrance to the Moyglare Abbey Estate a short time later.

Kym’s injuries included two broken eye sockets, a dislocated jaw and a broken nose. She was wearing a long, dark green coat with a hood, black jeans, a red hoody and white Converse runners. She was also carrying a sports bag, green in colour with “Castleblaney Faughs” printed on the side.

If you think you might have any information that could be helpful, here is the message from Thomas McNee.

“Examine your conscience. It could be your daughter or sister in that hospital. Take a leap of faith. Go to the Gardaí and tell them what you know.”

Gardaí have interviewed hundreds of people about the incident, but have yet to find any suspects or witnesses. The investigation was hampered by heavy fog on the night, which obscured CCTV cameras. The possibility that Kym may have suffered the injuries in a fall or being hit by a vehicle hasn’t been ruled out.

“It’s been very tough and trying on the family”, said Thomas. “They are keeping a bedside vigil with her, every day. Staff in the hospital has been very good, the ICU unit.”

Shortly after the incident, fundraising efforts began for Kym Owens, and last night’s event in the Glencarn Hotel in her home town of Castleblaney, was attended by as many as 800 people, with organisers saying they could have sold out several times over.

If you do have information, or if you were in the vicinity of Maynooth Village / Moyglare Abbey Estate between 7pm and 9pm on Sunday 20th November last, please contact the Garda incident room at Leixlip Garda Station on 01-666 7800, The Garda Confidential Line – 1800 666 111 – or any Garda Station.

There is also a GoFundMe page set up under the Kym Owens Recovery fund, details of which can be found on Facebook.

To listen to the full interview, click here.

© The Listener 2017

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