Saturday 24 August 2019

16 Garda cars join chase across three counties as driver flees at 180kph

Gardai are investigating the incident (Niall Carson/PA)
Gardai are investigating the incident (Niall Carson/PA)

Ken Foy

A 34-YEAR-OLD man remained in custody at Tallaght Garda Station last night after he was involved in an early morning high-speed chase across three counties.

It has emerged that at one stage he was driving at 180kph, and up to 16 garda cars were involved in the 40-minute pursuit, including armed officers from the Regional Support Unit (RSU) and the national anti-burglary unit.

The incident began at around 2.15am yesterday when officers were called to the scene of a criminal damage incident at Killinarden Heights, Tallaght.

It is understood the suspect is a local man who allegedly smashed windows and damaged a pillar at the property which is occupied by people known to him.

When local gardai arrived at the scene, he fled in his 4x4 vehicle and the chase began.

A source revealed that at one stage, officers requested the use of the garda helicopter, but it was unavailable.

After driving away from Tallaght, the man briefly drove at high speed on the N81 towards Blessington, Co Wicklow.

He then changed direction and drove at high speed on the N7 and on to the M7 in Co Kildare, including on a 14km stretch where there have been major roadworks from junctions eight to 11, with the speed limit reduced to 60kph since last November.

“This individual was travelling at well over double the speed limit on that stretch of road during the chase,” a source said last night.

“It was a very dangerous situation.

“He was driving on a lane in which construction workers operate, but thankfully no one was hurt.

“Gardai were surprised he was able to go as fast as he was in the old jeep he was driving.”

The chase continued into Co Laois, where the suspect rammed an RSU vehicle, causing considerable damage, near the village of Mountmellick at around 3am.

The chase ended there and the man, who is originally from Tallaght, was detained and brought to Tallaght Garda Station for questioning.

The suspect is known to gardai, but only for public order and criminal damage offences.

“He is likely to face multiple dangerous driving charges as well as endangerment and criminal damage charges in relation to what happened in this 40-minute time frame,” the source added.

Apart from specialist garda units, officers from divisions in Dublin, Laois and Kildare were all involved in the operation.

No one, including the arrested, man was injured.


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