By David Raleigh
A man arrested in connection with a stabbing and acid attack on a woman in Limerick has been released without charge.
Friends today prayed for Simone Lee (pictured) who was the victim of the brutal assault at her home last Saturday night.
Ms Lee, 37, was discovered by gardaí and paramedics in a pool of blood at her first floor flat at Hassetts Villas, Thomondgate around 12.40am.
A well-placed source said that some form of corrosive acidic substance caused burns to Ms Lee's face and torso.
She was also stabbed in the back and suffered dozens of minor cuts to her body, as well as a large laceration to her head.
Ms Lee, who is in a critical condition, was expected to be transferred from University Hospital Limerick to the specialist burns unit at Cork University Hospital for treatment to her burn injuries.
A 28-year old man, who is known to Ms Lee, was arrested by gardai at the flat. He was released without charge and a file is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether or not the man will face charges.
Garda forensic officers travelled from Dublin to Limerick, Monday, to examine Ms Lee's home. Officers took away a number of items from the flat and packed them into evidence bags.
Paying tribute, friend, Deirdre Cronin, said: "Simone is a very quiet, unassuming girl. We're all wishing her a speedy recovery."
"All her friends are worried about her and we have been praying for her. We're very concerned for her," Ms Cronin added.
The alarm was raised shortly after midnight Saturday by a passer-by who had seen a broken window at the flat.
When Gardai arrived they found Ms Lee who was partially clothed and suffering from hyperthermia. A man was arrested at the scene.
Ms Lee was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.
Sources said she is being sedated by heavy medication.
Gardaí continued house to house enquiries in the area, and were harvesting CCTV footage in the hunt for clues as to who was involved in the horrific attack.
Gardaí at Mayorstone Garda station (061456980) have appealed for information.