Ukrainian girl (8) suffered up to 70 stab wounds during frenzied Clare attack
Her mother also remains critically ill in hospital after being found unconscious at the premises they were staying in
A young Ukrainian refugee is believed to have suffered up to 70 suspected stab wounds during a frenzied and violent attack in Clare.
The eight-year-old girl was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries following the stabbing at a residence in Clarecastle, on the outskirts of Ennis, yesterday morning.
Her mother also remains critically ill in hospital after being found unconscious at the premises they were staying in.
The property is being used as emergency accommodation for Ukrainian refugees and gardaí were alerted after residents reported a disturbance coming from a room at the facility.
When emergency services arrived they found the child with serious injuries while her unconscious mother was also discovered in the room.
The young girl was rushed to University Hospital Limerick and has since been transferred to Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin where she remains in a critical but stable condition.
sundayworld.com understands she suffered up to 70 suspected stab wounds including multiple injuries to her neck in the horrific attack.
Her mother, aged in her mid-40s, remains in University Hospital Limerick in a critical condition.
As part of the investigation gardaí have spoken to a number of people who were in the property at the time in an effort to build a clearer account of what happened to the mother and child.
One source said the scene of the incident was “highly distressing for first responders” while another described the incident as "frenzied".
No arrests have yet been made in the investigation led by detectives at Ennis and being overseen by a senior garda.
Locals yesterday told how they did not know any of the residents as the house only became occupied in recent weeks after lying derelict for years.
Both the woman and daughter are understood to be Ukrainian refugees who had fled their home country following the Russian invasion.
It is understood the girl had started attending a local primary school just weeks ago.
The girl is fighting for her life in hospital after the incident yesterday morning.
The child’s mother also remains in a critical condition.
The house was being used as emergency accommodation.
It is understood the mother and daughter are Ukrainian nationals who recently moved into the extended property, which is accommodating up to 15 refugees who fled the war-torn country.
She was discovered with serious injuries, including multiple suspected stab wounds to the neck, and was removed to University Hospital Limerick.
Independent.ie understands the child was later transferred with a garda escort to a specialist hospital in Dublin after concerns about weather conditions meant she could not be airlifted.
Her mother, aged in her mid-40s, was found unconscious at the scene and was brought to the Limerick hospital.
It is understood investigators are awaiting a toxicology report on the woman to determine the cause of her collapse.
Locals told Independent.ie they did not know any of the residents as the house only became occupied in recent weeks after lying derelict for years.
“I have seen a couple of children going in and out. If she is the child I am thinking of, she is a lovely little thing,” said one local woman.
“They are only here for maybe three or four weeks.
“But you wouldn’t see them out playing in the front because it’s on the main road.
“There is definitely a large group living there, though, but nobody would know them.
“I don’t know what to say or even think about what I am hearing. I didn’t realise anything happened until I saw all the guards outside.
“There are a lot of elderly people living along this stretch of the road and this is just the last thing you want to happen. It would make you afraid.
“The poor child. I hope we get good news about her.
Another neighbour said: “I couldn’t tell you how many people are living there, but I have seen several children and a few men coming and going.
“I have never seen any women.
“Nobody locally would really know anyone living there because it is only recently occupied again.
“It has been renovated for a long time. I suspect there are a few families there because the kitchen is at the front, and it’s like a communal kitchen.”
An investigation into the incident is being led by detectives at Ennis garda station, while a senior garda has been appointed to oversee the inquiry.
Specialist detectives are also involved in the investigation because of the age of the child.
Gardaí have appointed a liaison officer to assist the family, and the scene remains sealed off to facilitate an examination by the Divisional Scenes of Crime Unit.
One source said the scene of the incident was “highly distressing for first responders”.
A garda spokesman said: “Shortly before 8am this morning, Tuesday, September 27, 2022, gardaí and emergency services attended a scene a domestic residence in Clarecastle, Co Clare.
“A female child was discovered with serious injuries and was removed to University Hospital Limerick, where she remains in a critical condition.
“A female adult was also found unconscious at the scene, and was removed to University Hospital Limerick where she is also in a critical condition.
“An incident room has been established at Ennis garda station and a senior investigating officer has been appointed to oversee the investigation.
“A family liaison officer has been appointed to the family.
“The scene currently remains preserved, and the scene is currently being examined by the Divisional Scenes of Crime Unit.
“This is a live, and ongoing investigation, and no further information is available at this time.
“An Garda Síochána are appealing for anyone with any information on this incident to contact the investigation team at Ennis garda station (on) 065 6848100, the Garda Confidential Line (on) 1800 666 111 or any garda station. Enquires are ongoing.”
Clare Civil Defence personnel and an interpreter were called to assist gardaí at the scene yesterday morning.
The remaining occupants of the property have since been transferred to an emergency refugee accommodation centre in Ennis.
Clare Civil Defence has been providing emergency accommodation for people displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the past number of months.
Gardaí remained at the scene last night and continued door-to-door enquiries in the area to determine if anyone heard or saw anything relevant to their inquiry.
Several local representatives declined to comment on the incident when contacted.
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