A garda car was rammed after officers responded to reports of dangerous driving in a Dublin suburb this evening.
The incident happened shortly after 7.30pm when gardaí were alerted to several cars being driven dangerously in the Cherry Orchard area.
In a statement, gardaí said that when officers arrived they “observed two vehicles driving erratically”.
"Both vehicles failed to stop when requested to do so by gardaí and one vehicle collided with an official garda vehicle.
"No injures were reported during the incident.”
Video footage of the incident has been widely shared on social media and shows a large number of people watching from the roadside as two cars were driving at high speed up and down a section of road.
Footage shows a car twice ramming the patrol vehicle before reversing.
Gardaí have appealed to any people who witnessed the incident to come forward. They are appealing to anyone who was travelling in the Cherry Orchard area at this time and who may have camera footage, including dashcam footage, to make it available to investigating gardaí.
Anyone for information is asked to contact Ballyfermot garda station on 01 666 7200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111, or any garda station.
Gardaí said no arrests have been made and their investigation is ongoing.
Local politicians criticised what they described as scenes of “utter lawlessness”.
Fianna Fáil TD Cormac Devlin said: "Videos posted online tonight show scenes of utter lawlessness in a Dublin community.
"The clips posted online show cars driving erratically and ramming gardaí without any fear or thought for the gardaí on duty.
"This is evidence of the shocking incidents gardaí are forced to deal with as a small proportion of people terrorise a whole community.
"We have to come down much stronger on what is pure lawlessness happening across the capital, and back the gardaí with the resources and legislation to deal with those who behave with no regard for law or life.
"My thoughts are with the gardaí having to deal with those incidents this evening as well as the majority of good people being terrorised by these thugs."
Local Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolin said the cars involved in the incident were later found burned out in the local park. He said the incident was a “terrifying ordeal for local residents”.
Speaking to Independent.ie he said that “this hasn’t come out of nowhere”, adding: “It was last night, last week, last month, last year.”
He said this evening’s incident underscores the need for more resources in the area to cope with anti-social behaviour, starting with more garda resources.
And while a garda helicopter hovered over the area tonight and the Emergency Response Unit was called to the area this evening, he said there is only one garda car available to patrol the entire Ballyfermot area, which he said is unacceptable.
“This wouldn’t be tolerated in Blackrock or Foxrock or Lucan,” he said.
“This is happening on a nightly basis and residents are absolutely terrified.”
He said he hopes the videos of the car-ramming incident will result in a much-needed response from gardaí, Dublin City Council and the Government to tackle the problem.
“We need a plan for the area,” he said.
Cllr Doolin has previously spoken of neighbourhoods “teetering on the edge of lawlessness” and told a meeting of the Dublin City Council Joint Policing Committee in July that residents are living in constant fear and trauma.
“We’re not talking about individuals in trauma but families and whole communities in trauma from intergenerational issues caused perhaps by drug-related intimidation, addiction, unemployment, mental health, violence, criminality,” he told the meeting.
“If that happens over and over and over again in a concentrated area then the people are living with trauma all the time.
“They are living with violence or the threat of violence all the time and that manifests itself in very clear ways.”
Earlier this month, he spoke of a spate of incidents in which cars are being robbed and burnt out in the area, causing “huge distress” to residents, especially the elderly and the parents of young children.
Reacting to the footage tonight, president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Brendan O’Connor, said: “This footage may shock a large proportion of the public but for this association this is a stark example of an all too familiar threat to the frontline members we represent.
"Unfortunately we are all too aware of what we have seen as a diminishing capacity to respond and deal with those intent on wreaking havoc on the streets.
"The issues are complex but the common thread is a lack of recruitment, investment, adequate training, unworkable protocols and policies and the retention of experienced and valued gardaí.
"Our members feel besieged and let down while lawbreakers and criminals appear to be empowered and emboldened.”