A 51-year-old woman is in a serious condition in hospital after she was stabbed several times near her home in north county Cork this evening.

A man who is known to the woman is also being treated at the hospital.

Emergency services were alerted just after 4.30pm that the woman had suffered several stab wounds. The incident took place near her home, 8km from the village of Banteer.

The woman is understood to have been walking her dog when she was attacked by a man who is known to her.

It is not known at this stage who raised the alarm, but a number of ambulance crews were sent to the scene.

The man fled when they arrived.

Gardaí from Cork North, Cork City and the Cork West divisions rushed to the scene, along with a number of garda armed support units and a specialist army search team based at Collins Barracks in Cork.

The man, 57, was found in a laneway several hundred metres from a caravan owned by the woman by members of the armed support unit.

He had also sustained serious stab wounds.

The woman is now being treated at Cork University Hospital. Her injuries are described as serious but not life threatening.

The man is under armed guard at the same hospital and his injuries are not life-threatening.

Gardaí have preserved two scenes close to the woman's caravan, and they will be forensically examined tomorrow morning.