Cynthia Owen grew up in Ireland, went to the local convent school, said her prayers and took her first communion with all the other girls in her class. But behind the facade of respectability lurked a hideous reality.
Cynthia was just eight years old when she was sexually abused by her father amongst others. Shortly before her eleventh birthday she was made pregnant and, minutes after giving birth to the baby, Cynthia watched in horror as her own mother murdered the tiny infant, named Noleen, by repeatedly stabbing her with a knitting needle. Cynthia’s mother then wrapped the baby girl in a plastic bag, dumped her in an alleyway and made her daughter go back to school and pretend nothing had ever happened.
After enduring many more years of rape and violence, Cynthia came forward and reported her abuse and Noleen’s death.
Finally, in 2007, after a fifteen-year legal fight to have her baby girl formally identified, the jury at the ‘Dun Laoghaire Baby’ inquest declared that the baby found dead in an alleyway thirty-four years previously was Noleen Murphy, the daughter of Cynthia Owen.
Cynthia’s is a horrific story of brutality and loss, but ultimately, it is an account of love, immense bravery and her fight for justice in Noleen’s name.