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Man charged after children attacked at home

A man has been charged with assault after allegedly attacking four children at a house in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Stephen Harnett, 35, from Kilpoole Upper, Blainroe, is accused of assaulting two boys and two girls, all under 12, leaving them with injuries suggesting they had been strangled.

He appeared at the district court in Bray and has been remanded in custody at Cloverhill Prison ahead of a hearing later this month, police said.

The children have since been discharged from hospital, but are said to be “traumatised” by the experience, according to a local parish priest.

Garda said the alleged assaults took place shortly after 7.30pm on Friday in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland.

After emergency services arrived at the scene, two of the children had to be airlifted to hospital.

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The Rev Donal Roche said: “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.”

In a statement, Garda said: “Gardai and emergency services attended the scene after the four children were discovered in a house in a serious condition. All four children were taken to Tallaght Hospital, two were airlifted.”

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