A young Ukrainian girl is fighting for her life in hospital after suffering suspected stab wounds in Clare this morning.
The child’s mother was also discovered unconscious at the domestic residence and remains in a critical condition.
A major investigation is now underway to establish exactly what occurred at the property in the village of Clarecastle, located on the outskirts of Ennis.
It’s understood the mother and daughter are Ukrainian nationals who were staying at a centre for refugees who have fled the war-torn country.
The young girl, who is believed to be eight years old, was discovered with serious injuries including suspected stab wounds to the neck and was removed to University Hospital Limerick where she remains in a critical condition.
Her mother, aged in her mid-40s, was found unconscious at the scene and was brought to the Limerick hospital where she is also fighting for her life.
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.
A garda spokesman said: “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 065 6848100, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
“Enquires are ongoing and updates will follow,” the spokesman added.
Clare Civil Defence personnel and an interpreter were called to assist gardaí at the scene this 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.
Earlier today gardaí said a girl discovered this morning with serious injuries was in a critical condition in hospital and a woman was also found unconscious at the scene.
She was removed to University Hospital Limerick where she is also in a critical condition.
UHL doctors are currently assessing the child and providing emergency medical support.
However, it is expected she may be transferred to a hospital in Dublin for more specialist care.
Gardaí are expected to conduct door-to-door inquiries in the area to determine if anyone heard or saw anything relevant to their inquiry.
Officers are also trying to determine precisely who was in the property when the little girl was injured early this morning.
Gardaí said enquires are ongoing and updates will follow.