THE brave young girl who suffered serious injuries in a firebomb attack, when she leapt on top of her cousin to protect her, faces an agonising 10 weeks in hospital.
Heroine Roisin Halligan (11) suffered terrible burns in the attack on her grandmother's house, in Ardmore Park in the Ballybeg area of Waterford on Thursday night.
When the fire bomb came through the window, Roisin jumped on her cousin, one-year-old Lexi Halligan, to shield her.
Both were taken to hospital, along with three-month-old William Halligan, who was asleep at the time but suffered some smoke inhalation.
Danielle Halligan, an aunt of the children, told the Herald that Lexi had returned home, but that Roisin could be in hospital for up to 10 weeks.
"Lexi has come home but they are worried about her hand. She might need a skin graft," she said.
"Roisin will have to spend eight to 10 weeks in hospital. She's already had three operations on her hands and her feet. She is also going to need a skin graft on her face, the poor thing.
"My mom has gone up to the hospital to see her, the child was crying to see my mother," she said.
The three children were originally taken to University Hospital Waterford, but Roisin was transferred to Cork University Hospital due to the seriousness of her injuries.
Ms Halligan said that her mother Nelly was badly affected by the incident. "She is still very shaken up about," she said.
Gregory Hennessy (23), of Priory Lawn in Ballybeg, appeared at a special sitting of Waterford District Court on Saturday charged with reckless endangerment by throwing a petrol bomb in through a sitting room window, "which created a substantial risk of death of serious harm to another".
He was also charged with causing criminal damage by fire to the property and contents of the house.
Mr Hennessy looked visibly upset and disorientated during the brief hearing.
Detective Sargent Siobhan Keating on Saturday told Judge Furlong that the accused made no reply when informed of the charges.
Acceding to a request from solicitor Kenneth Cunningham, on consent of the prosecution, Judge Gerard Furlong requested that the Mr Hennessy "be considered" as a candidate for protective custody.
A prison service source suggested that it was likely the governor of Cork Prison would accede to Judge Furlong's requests. The defence hope that the accused will be kept in isolation for his own safety.
Inspector Anthony Dineen told Judge Furlong that the prosecution "believes it would be most appropriate in these circumstances".
Mr Cunningham said that his client was also suffering from an "underlying condition".
Judge Furlong made a request that Mr Hennessy receive medical assessment and attention on arrival at Cork Prison.
Judge Furlong adjourned the matter to a sitting of the District Court today.