Incest claims tore family apart

The allegations of abuse and claims of a sordid incest ring have ripped apart the Murphy family.

The allegations of abuse and claims of a sordid incest ring have ripped apart the Murphy family.

Cynthia Owen, the mother of the baby girl found stabbed to death in April 1973, has been branded a liar by her father, a brother and some of her sisters.

She detailed years of ritual abuse meted out to children in the family home, a small terraced house in White’s Villas, Dalkey, during hearings at the reopened inquest at the Dublin County Coroner’s Court.

But despite claims and counterclaims over four days of traumatic evidence questions remain about the death of Noleen.

Ms Owen wants to know what happened to the evidence in what was evidently a murder case; why no blood group or tissue samples were kept and what happened to the bag and sanitary towels found with the baby.

Garda files have disappeared and Ms Owen also wants to know what happened to the missing records of the first inquest.

She claims the bag in which the body was found was not checked for fingerprints and she has questioned why there was no report of how two gardaí stopped her and her mother on the night they carried the body of the baby from Dalkey into Dun Laoghaire.

Ms Owen insists gardaí did not carry out an adequate investigation.

It is believed gardaí have lost crucial evidence – including the bag in which the dead baby was found.

These could have provided vital DNA clues such as the matching strands that are common to cases of incest. If not, the DNA could be matched to that of other men Ms Owen claims raped her.

Dublin County Coroner’s Court heard graphic accounts of the abuse Ms Owen claims she suffered.

Psychologists supported her evidence but Ms Owen was forced to sit in the court room as her abuse claims were refuted.

In all Ms Owen claims she was raped as a child by a circle of at least nine men, some of them visitors to the family home.

Much of the abuse that Ms Owen told the inquest was too graphic to detail.

But for every claim there has been a denial.

Much of the evidence that Ms Owen sought in vain to uncover and could have used to vindicate her story is missing, but the inquest granted her some comfort in finding the child was her’s.

Ms Owen claims she has been told by gardai half the file in the initial garda investigation into the death of Noleen has vanished.

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