Boy (14) at centre of high-speed chase across four counties 'so small he could barely see over the steering wheel'
A 14-year-old boy was arrested after breaking out of a care facility and stealing a car before bringing gardaí on a 100km chase across four counties.
So concerned were responding officers for other motorists' safety along the busy M7 motorway, they stopped all traffic entering the southern bound carriageway from Roscrea, Co Tipperary, to Limerick city as the pursuit continued.
The teen stole the keys of a staff member's car at a care facility in Mountrath, Co Laois, on Thursday evening before fleeing in their Volkswagen Passat. Gardaí were notified just after 4pm.
The boy drove the Passat at "great speed" southbound on the M7 as officers pursued the vehicle through four counties - Laois, Tipperary, Offaly, back into Tipperary and Limerick.
Sources have revealed the boy is so small "he could barely see over the steering wheel" of the stolen car.
Gardaí deployed units along motorway entrance points from Roscrea to Limerick to prevent other road users from being on the motorway.
"It was like 'Smokey and the Bandit, ' with all the roads closed for him as he sped through with gardaí pursuing," a source said.
The chase came to a dramatic end on the outskirts of Limerick city after road blocks were set up and the teen was forced to a halt.
No one was injured in the incident and the boy was arrested. He has since been released and sources say gardaí are hoping to press charges.