Friday 20 April 2018

Two men apologise to motorcycle Garda injured in dangerous driving incident

The injured garda lies in the road surrounded by colleagues.
The injured garda lies in the road surrounded by colleagues.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Two men charged in relation to an incident that left a motorcycle Garda seriously injured apologised to arresting officers.

John O'Driscoll (27) and Damien Fitzgerald (28) appeared before a special sitting of Cork District court following a high speed chase around Cork city that left Garda Michael Twomey (37) injured.

O'Driscoll of No Fixed Abode and Cork, Simon was charged with seven offences including five counts of dangerous driving.

These relate to a number of different locations around Cork city between 8.30am and 10am last Friday (April 18).

Garda Robert Kennedy told Judge Olann Kelleher that when he charged O'Driscoll with dangerous driving he replied: "I am sorry...I am sorry for the Garda."

The dangerous driving counts relate to alleged incidents on the Rochestown Road, Clogheen, Blarney, Brian Boru Bridge and Rathduff.

O'Driscoll also faces a count of theft at the Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire.

Damien Fitzgerald (28) of Inniscarra Road, Fair Hill, Cork was charged with allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle and with theft at Vienna Woods Hotel on April 18.

He told arresting officers: "I am sorry".

Fitzgerald added to gardai that it was his birthday last week "and I went on a bender."

Defence solicitor Diarmuid Kelleher asked that both men receive medical and psychiatric attention while in prison.

Judge Kelleher remanded both in custody.

Both were granted free legal aid and remanded to appear before Cork District Court next Thursday (April 24).

The charges followed a high-speed chase around Cork city in which a motorcycle garda, Michael Twomey (37), suffered back and leg injuries when his bike was struck by a stolen van on the Mallow Road.

Supt Con Cadogan has hailed Garda Twomey, a married man with a young family, as a hero for bravely trying to protect pedestrians and motorists by stopping traffic in advance of the stolen van.

During the chase, a garda patrol van was rammed in the city centre and Garda Twomey's bike was struck on the Mallow Road.

Three stationary cars were also struck in the city centre.

The van was finally stopped, driving the wrong way on the Limerick-Cork dual-carriageway towards Cork city, when garda drivers used a skilful box manoeuvre to trap it.

Garda Twomey was tended at the scene by concerned pedestrians and motorists lying injured in the middle of the road before he was able to be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Garda Twomey is expected to be discharged from CUH within the next 24 hours.

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