A schoolgirl suffered a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock when an egg was thrown at campaigners urging a No vote in the same-sex marriage referendum.
Ten-year-old Muireann DeClár, who is severely allergic to eggs, was sitting on the side of an advertising truck bearing a No campaign ad when at least one youth started throwing missiles, including eggs.
The youngster had to be treated with an Anapen adrenaline injector as she suffered a severe allergic reaction, which caused a rash which quickly spread across her face, neck and shoulder.
Her mother Aoife said her daughter’s face had also swollen so much that her eye closed up.
Gardai are investigating the incident, which happened at an event organised by campaign group Mothers and Fathers Matter in Co Meath.
“We were standing at the Navan Shopping Centre and there were kids running around," Aoife said.
"We had stopped for photographs at the 'No' billboard and there was a row of children sitting next to it.
"The children ranged in age from three to ten. There were also three babies in buggies.
"I suddenly heard Muireann screaming 'I'm allergic to egg'. I turned around and it was dripping down her face.
"She was hysterical. She has severe allergies to egg and has gone into anaphylactic shock in the past.
"She has also been hospitalised on a number of occasions.
"She was getting more and more distressed so we decided we had to get her away from the egg as quickly as possible.
"At this stage a rash had started to develop and was making its way down her face, neck and shoulder.
"I had my five children with me but no matter what I did I couldn't console her."
Aoife told independent.ie that her daughter was "petrified" the person would return on the bike and throw more eggs.
"I brought her home as quick as I could because she had developed breathing difficulties. I immediately treated her with an Anapen adrenaline injector," Aoife continued.
"It's potentially fatal if she does not get the injection.
"I then gave her antihistamines and washed the egg off her body.
"She has terrible cramps in her stomach and she's afraid to eat anything.
"She didn't consume any of the egg, but she's so sensitive to it that it only has to touch her skin for her to have a reaction.
"She allergic to dairy and has respiratory problems. She also has to take various medication every day."
Gardai have urged witnesses to come forward with information.
“We can confirm that Gardai in Navan are investigating an alleged assault on a female, aged approximately 10 years, outside Navan Shopping Centre,” said a spokesman.
“It is alleged that a male cycling a bicycle threw an egg at a group of people at approximately 4.30pm.
“The male is described as wearing a blue jacket and cycled from Kennedy Plaza in the direction of Preston Place.”
The event, staged by campaign group Mothers and Fathers Matter, was being lead by Paddy Manning.
“In all my years of political activism, I have never witnessed such an act of mindlessness, or a scene so distressing,” said Mr Manning.
“While the attackers had no way of knowing that the child had an allergy, they had every way of knowing that she was a child of about ten-years-old.”
Mr Manning described the event as a ‘meet and greet’ where No campaigners were trying to engage with voters about the decision facing the country in a week.
“I would like to extend my sympathies, and the sympathies of everybody in the no campaign to Muireann and her family," he added.
There is more to being a parent than biology says Cork hurler Conor Cusack, who has criticised comments by Dublin footballer Ger Brennan who said he is voting No in the upcoming Marriage Referendum.