A man was arrested after four children were assaulted in a house in Co Wicklow on Friday night. The children survived the attack and were rushed to hospital, where they are said to be recovering.
Gardaí and emergency services were called to a house in the Blainroe area at 7.30pm, where they discovered four children who were all described as being in a serious condition following the assault.
It is understood the suspect is known to the children.
The children were taken to Tallaght Hospital for treatment, and two had to be airlifted. A man in his mid-30s was arrested soon afterwards and was being detained at Wicklow Garda Station. A technical examination of the scene has taken place and gardaí have left the scene.
Two girls, aged 5 and 6, were said to be injured in the incident, as well as boys aged 9 and 11.
It is understood that the suspect had been looking after the siblings at the house yesterday evening, before the incident.
It is believed the man alerted his father, who was in a nearby house, at which point the father rushed back to the house and successfully resuscitated one of the children before emergency services arrived.
It is understood an attempt had been made to strangle the children.
Two of the worst injured children were later airlifted to hospital from an adjoining field.
The single story house on Kilpoole Hill is located approximately 5km south of Wicklow Town, and is joined by two other properties on a plot of land overlooking Brittas Bay.
Gardaí and forensic teams remained at the site overnight on Friday until Saturday afternoon, and neighbours could be seen hugging and consoling each other outside the vacant bungalow.
Parish priest Donal Roche said the four children had been released from hospital on Saturday evening.
“They are physically going to be ok. Obviously they are traumatised about what has happened and there is a lot of healing to be done but they have been discharged,” he said.
Commenting on the assaults, Wicklow Town-based Fine Gael councillor Irene Winters said people in the area are in shock.
“There is a lot of confusion and speculation as to what actually happened. Obviously some incident has occurred and it would seem to be tragic in nature,” she said.
“Our thoughts are with the people who were hospitalised, and we hope that no lasting serious damage has been done.”