Garda’s foot severed after he is hit by car in Co Limerick

Woman alleged to have driven to home of loved one where garda’s foot was discovered stuck in the car after it had been amputated

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses after a motorist allegedly hit an off-duty garda who was out cycling and then drove on with one of the garda’s feet wedged in their car.

The victim, named locally as Inspector Niall Flood, from Dromcollogher, Co Limerick, was found seriously injured on the R522, between Dromcollogher and Feoghanagh, near Newcastle West, about 7.15pm on Thursday night.

Gardaí are working on a theory that the motorist panicked after the collision, left the scene and drove to a house where Garda Flood’s foot was found stuck in the car after it had been amputated in the collision and gardaí were alerted.

A woman in her 20s was arrested as part of the Garda inquiry into the incident.

Insp Flood, who was stationed out of Henry Street, Limerick City and Newcastle West, was airlifted from the scene by the Irish Community Air Ambulance based in Rathcoole Aerodrome, Co Cork, to Cork University Hospital.

He was said on Friday to be in a serous but stable condition.

His foot was severed just below the shinbone above the ankle and he sustained other multiple injuries. The rapid response of his Garda colleagues and emergency first responders was praised for saving his life.

It’s understood emergency responders placed a tourniquet on his injured leg to stem the blood flow and kept him conscious at the side of the road.

“He was inside in water at the stage when someone came to him and they helped him in anyway they could, he spoke to the guys who came on scene, and the first thing he said to them was ‘is my leg gone’,” said a source.

A spokesman for the Irish Community Air Ambulance said it was tasked to the incident at 7.19pm and “landed on scene 12 minutes later and transferred the patient to CUH in under 15 minutes”.

Newcastle West Fine Gael Councillor Liam Galvin paid tribute to Insp Flood who he described as an “excellent garda”.

“I’ve known Niall a long time, he is an excellent garda, it’s just heartbreaking. I hope there is a way that he can come back into the Garda uniform in some capacity, because he is going to be a dreadful loss to the force, if he has to retire, it’s just heartbreaking.”

A Garda spokesman made an appeal “to any person who may have witnessed this collision to contact them, including any road users who were travelling on the R522 between Dromcollogher and Feohanagh at the time of the incident with camera footage (including dash cam)”.

“A car understood to be involved in the incident was seized for forensic examination. The scene has been examined by Garda Forensic Collision investigators and the road has since reopened to traffic,” said the spokesman. “Investigations are ongoing. No further information is available at this time.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Henry Street Garda Station (061212400) the Garda Confidential Line on (1800666666) or any Garda Station.