The youngster remains too ill to identify her attacker to gardaí
Prayers were said this morning for recovery of the 8-year-old Ukrainian girl who was discovered stabbed 74-times in her emergency accommodation in Clare earlier this week.
The youngster, who had fled Putin’s War in her home country with her mum, remains in a critical condition in Crumlin Children’s Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery on Tuesday night.
It’s understood it may be several days before she is considered well enough to speak with specialist detectives about the attack.
Despite being the victim of a frenzied knife attack, it’s understood the child’s attacker did not strike any of her vital organs.
Nevertheless, her injuries have been described as ‘life-changing.’
Sources said gardaí are following a definite line of inquiry in connection with the attack on the child and have identified a suspect however no arrests have been made to date
Speaking yesterday, Fr. Pat Malone, parish priest of Clarecastle & Ballyea Parish, confirmed that prayers would be offered this morning for the little girl and her mother, who was also discovered unconscious at the scene.
“We will be praying for them at the morning mass,” he told the Sunday World.
“We will be praying for the recovery of the little girl and her mum.
“People in the parish have been very shocked by this and everyone in the area is just wishing the very best for the families involved.”
The girl’s mother also remains in a serious condition at Limerick University Hospital but is expected to survive.
As part of the ongoing garda probe, other residents at the family’s accommodation at the Old Sunset Lodge B&B have been spoken to.
A number of the residents spoken with on Friday either did not speak English or declined to comment about what transpired on Tuesday.
Both mum and daughter were discovered unconscious inside their rooms at the emergency accommodation centre at around 8am on Tuesday.
The house, which was recently renovated, is occupied by up to 15 Ukrainians.
It is understood that occupants of the house overheard a commotion and attempted to access a room but were unable to do so.
Growing increasingly concerned, one occupant went outside and looked into the window, where they saw the child grievously injured.
When emergency services arrived minutes later, they were met with a “horrific scene”, a source close to the investigation said.
Emergency services stabilised the child, and she was transferred to Limerick University Hospital.
Due to weather conditions in the south-west on Tuesday, the girl could not be airlifted to Dublin and gardaí provided an escort to Crumlin.
Stunned occupants of the property, including several children, were moved to alternative accommodation locally overnight on Tuesday.
Investigators have spoken to all residents of the house, and it is understood they have identified a suspect and expect to make an arrest.
As part of their enquiries, gardaí have established the movements of the mother and child in the 48 hours leading up to the attack.
Gardaí are also trying to trace who they may have communicated with.
It is understood that the girl had started attending a local primary school weeks ago.
Locals said 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 playing in the front because it’s on the main road.
“There is a large group living there, 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."
Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat Daly described the incident as a tragedy for the girl, her mother, and the local community.
“It is a tragedy. It’s a very sad situation the mother and daughter are in.
“This has been an awful shock for the community here too. We didn’t know those involved as they had been here a couple of weeks.
“We can only wish everyone the best in this most tragic situation,” he said.