A GARDA was injured after three squad cars were rammed in a high-speed chase along Dublin's M1 motorway.
The garda was left with eye injuries and facial lacerations when three garda cars intercepted the stolen car on the Dublin-Belfast road at the M1-M50 junction.
The PSNI had been tailing the men, all understood to be in their late teens, and alerted gardai when the car drove south of the Border.
Rush-hour traffic across the region was hit by severe delays after two lanes of the M1 were closed at the M50 junction for a number of hours.
The drama unfolded shortly after 5pm when gardai gave chase to a vehicle they had spotted at the Drogheda exit of the M1, which was travelling at over 130km/h.
At least three squad cars, assisted by the garda helicopter, pursued the vehicle which weaved in and out of traffic.
Gardai attempted to stop the car near the M1/M50 junction during the chase, which lasted 12 minutes.
Sources believe the gang were involved in a spate of burglaries in Northern Ireland and were travelling in the direction of Dublin Airport before they were apprehended at around 5.30pm.
Back-up gardai were brought in before the ramming happened about 50 yards before the slip road to the motorway junction.
A senior garda source said the incident was "being treated very seriously".
"It's lucky that no one was killed and particularly that no motorists were caught in the carnage," the source added.
One garda was injured in the incident and rushed to hospital with facial injuries caused by shattered glass.
A small car fire broke out as the three men were arrested, but emergency services were on the scene within minutes and it was quickly put out.
Brendan Duffy, from Irishtown, who was at the scene, said: "We saw the car on fire and I thought it was going to explode."
The men were being detained at Ballymun garda station last night. Gardai said investigations were ongoing, but they were following a definite line of inquiry.