THE mother of the young boy who was in the back of the stolen car last night told how she "feared the worst".
The 32-year-old woman from the northside of Limerick -- who asked not to be identified -- said she was dropping her children to school when she went into Woodview Shopping Centre on the Old Cratloe Road to buy cigarettes.
"I went in for just a bare second, with three children in the back of the car.
"The lady was just handing me the cigarettes and the next thing my other little girl started screaming: 'Mommy, mommy, quick, quick, quick'," she told the Irish Independent.
"I went out and I saw the car driving off. I saw my other two kids, but I didn't see my small fella.
"I was roaring, screaming for anyone for help, could anyone go after the car -- my child was in the back.
"I was thinking everything a mother would think. I didn't know what he (the hijacker) was going to do.
"Would he beat the child up? Would he crash and the child would go out through the window?"
An uncle of the boy arrived at the shopping centre and drove off along the old Cratloe Road with the terrified mother.
"I was just praying 'please God just show me which way did he go'. So we turned off a side road near a pub.
"We went out there a bit and thank God, my child was there standing. He was out on the road on his own -- just looking.
"I was just happy to see him -- hugging and kissing him.
"I rushed back to my other two kids. They were crying. The eldest one was taking it very bad. She was telling me she was sorry and she was trying to get him out of the car, but couldn't."
She said her children are still in shock.
"They are not saying much. She (her daughter) hurt her knee and got a screwdriver in her back as she was trying to get him out.
"When she tried to get the child out of the back, he started poking her with a screwdriver. He started screaming at them saying he would do something bad if they didn't get out."
"That is the hardest part, she is blaming herself.
"Once I had my children, I didn't care about the car. They mean the world to me."