GSOC launches probe as man left fighting for his life after collision
The Garda Ombudsman was last night investigating a collision between a garda car and a motorbike which left a young man fighting for his life.
The incident occurred at the junction of Sean MacDermott Street and Buckingham Street in Dublin's north inner city just before 5am yesterday.
The injured man, Evan Molloy, who is in his 20s, is originally from the Sheriff Street area.
He was rushed to the Mater Hospital, but later transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for serious head injuries.
His family spent Christmas Day holding a vigil by his hospital bedside. It is understood Mr Molloy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
The crash sparked a number of other events in the north inner city area, with more than 100 people gathering, along with scores of gardaí who had cordoned off the scene. A number of vehicles, including cars and motorbikes, were also burnt out and the remains could be seen smouldering yesterday on nearby Railway Road.
Two separate collisions involving an SUV and a car were also reported and a number of bins in the area were set on fire. According to one witness, members of the fire brigade "came under attack" as people streamed on to the streets.
It is understood gardaí in other city centre stations were put on standby to support colleagues, but were not drafted in.
Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, a source said fire crews had been warned not to enter the area unless they were accompanied by gardaí.
"This would normally be a fire and public order hotspot, where the fire service would usually bear the brunt of bottles and bricks and things," he said.
"But we have been warned not to enter today without the gardaí as tensions are very high in the area at the moment.
"We have been told that the incident has caused a bit of strain in the air with some of the locals."
Locals have described Mr Molloy as a "happy-go-lucky" type of character who is always "fun to be around".
"The Garda aren't that well liked around here and with Evan being so popular, things got a bit hairy for a while last night.
"We are all hoping that he will pull through. He is a nice guy," said a neighbour. "I've known his dad Declan for years. Such a tragedy on Christmas."
A GSOC spokesperson has said a team of investigators has attended the scene and that an investigation to establish the circumstances of the collision is being undertaken.
"A motorbike and a Garda patrol car collided, resulting in serious damage to both vehicles and what appears to be serious injury to the driver of the motorbike," it said in a statement.
"A forensic collision examination has been undertaken.
"The incident was referred by the Garda Síochána to GSOC under section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, which is normal procedure when a death or serious harm has occurred and there has been Garda contact.
"GSOC is appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision, or who has information which may assist the investigation, to contact them on 1890 600 800."