Shock has been expressed at the details emerging from a tragic incident in Clarecastle, Co Clare, which left a young girl and a woman in a critical condition in hospital.
The girl was found with serious injuries at a property in Clareabbey early on Tuesday morning.
The woman was found unconscious, and both were rushed to hospital where their conditions were described as critical.
Both the girl and the woman are understood to be Ukrainian nationals.
An incident room has been set up at Ennis Garda Station and a senior investigating officer has been appointed to oversee the investigation.
A family liaison officer has also been appointed to the family.
Local politicians and a government minister expressed sympathy and offered support to those affected by the incident.
“It’s a tragic story for the people coming in from the Ukraine, it’s an awful shock for the community of Clarecastle and Ennis, and a tragic story in the house from what I hear,” local councillor Pat Daly said.
“It’s a sad situation that a child is very sick.”
He added: “Whatever happened in there, no-one will know for a long time.”
Fine Gael TD and Clarecastle local Joe Carey said “our hearts go out” to the family and the Ukrainian community.
“We just want to support them in any way we can,” he said on RTE News.
Earlier on Wednesday, Minister for Children and Integration Roderic O’Gorman, who is leading Ireland’s response to housing Ukrainian refugees, also offered supports to those affected.
He said: “A really tragic situation has occurred there. Obviously we don’t want to get into any great detail, but we’re very aware and have been since soon after the incident occurred and offering what supports we can.”
Ennis parish priest Fr Tom Ryan told thethat prayers were offered at Masses in the locality on Wednesday for the mother and daughter.
He said: “Such an incident has saddened not just the Ukrainians in the area but the entire community.”