Colleagues have paid tribute to the bravery of a garda who suffered serious injuries as he tried to stop a moving SUV amid concern for the safety of two young passengers.
The garda was on patrol in Co Tipperary when they received a call about a suspected drink driver in the Birdhill area. They spotted the SUV at 5.50pm on Saturday.
The driver failed to stop and headed towards Birdhill village. As he tried to turn left at a junction, he appeared to lose control of the vehicle, which hit a signpost. The driver reversed and the garda tried to speak to the driver through a passenger window.
But the SUV sped off along the old Limerick Road with the garda clinging to the window. He was dragged for about 100 metres before he fell from the SUV, which hit him as he dropped to the ground. The garda, who has about 13 years’ service in the force and is based at Nenagh station, was taken to University Hospital in Limerick. He has since been discharged from hospital and was said by colleagues last night to be “in good spirits”.
Shortly after the incident, gardaí arrested a 52-year-old man and he was detained at Nenagh garda station for questioning.
According to gardaí, a 12-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were passengers at the time of the incident. Neither is a member of the suspect’s immediate family.
Garda Representative Association general secretary Pat Ennis said the actions of the garda were “an example of the bravery of frontline gardaí. His efforts to stop the vehicle were above and beyond the call of duty and he has paid a huge price for his bravery.”