Wednesday 20 November 2019

Garda injured after car is rammed by burglary gang near Commissioner's home

A damaged garda car at the scene of the stand-off
A damaged garda car at the scene of the stand-off
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A garda officer was injured after his patrol car was rammed by two criminals on a burglary spree.

The incident occurred near the home of the Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan after the culprits attempted to break into homes across north Dublin.

The drama began around 5am when a group of men tried to break into a house in Whitehall but failed to gain entry.

They then attempted to burgle houses, steal cars and break into a shop before being cornered in a Glasnevin estate where Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan and her husband, Detective Superintendent Jim McGowan, live.

A witness described seeing gardaí block the entrance to the cul-de-sac but the black four-wheel-drive vehicle had time to perform a two-point turn and face out of the estate.

A garda officer suffered a suspected broken hand in the resulting chaos.

"Everything stopped for a brief moment. The black 4X4 was facing out of the estate but just sat there for a moment," said neighbour Frank Cullinane.

"It looked to me like they waited for the gardaí to get out of their cars, and as they moved towards the 4X4 it revved up and sped towards them and they had to jump out of the way," he added.

"It then drove at the garda cars and rammed one of them as it drove between it and a private car, and a garda got injured in the hand.

"I don't think these guys had any idea that they were near the Commissioner's house, but there was certainly an air of danger while the whole incident was going on," he added.

"There were a lot of gardaí out on the road," he said.

The gang first drew attention to themselves when they tried to break into the house in Whitehall at 5am.

They failed to get into the house but minutes later tried to steal a car in the River Gardens area of Whitehall. They were disturbed by the owner and left the scene. Within minutes the same group were stopped from entering a shop by a security guard on Shanowen Road in nearby Santry.

Gardaí alerted to all the incidents were patrolling the area when they spotted the black four-wheel drive vehicle acting suspiciously in Glasnevin and signalled the vehicle to stop.

After the ramming incident the 4X4 sped from the scene, but in a follow-up operation gardaí in Ashbourne intercepted the vehicle and two men in their 20s with Dublin addresses were arrested.

They are being questioned at Ashbourne garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act where they can be held for 24 hours before being charged or released.

The garda car that was damaged in the ramming was later towed from the scene.

It had damage to its passenger-side and the front passenger side wheel was also punctured.

Irish Independent

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