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Boy (12) hit by garda car on busy city street

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy has been released from hospital after he was treated for the injuries he sustained when he was struck by a garda patrol car.

Stunned shoppers watched in horror as the child, who was running across O'Connell Street in Limerick to his father, was thrown on to the bonnet of the garda vehicle, damaging its windscreen, at lunchtime yesterday.

It is understood that the garda's view of pedestrians was obscured by the yellow and orange floral displays that line the city's main street.

One onlooker, James Walsh, said the male garda who was driving the vehicle was "obviously in shock" and left the scene with colleagues.

The Garda Ombudsman was immediately informed of the incident involving two members of the force -- a male and female -- based at Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick.

Crowds gathered as the 12-year-old boy was treated at the scene before being taken by ambulance to the Mid Western Regional Hospital.

Traffic came to a standstill across the city and diversions were put in place as part of the street was preserved for a technical examination.

O'Connell Street reopened to traffic at 5.45pm after the investigator from the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission had completed his inspection.

Superintendent Frank O'Brien expressed his concern about the child's injuries. "We hope that he recovers well," he said.