‘High-spec’ car seized by Garda has new life as ‘operational vehicle’ at motor rallies

Force plans to modify Volkswagen Golf in order to engage with car enthusiasts and are looking for suggestions

The car was seized during an operation that uncovered large volumes of illegal drugs and unexplained cash. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

An Garda Síochána has introduced a new vehicle as part of its roads policing fleet, a Volkswagen Golf that is being used by the force to promote safety messages among young drivers.

Supt Liam Geraghty from the Garda Press Office explained that the force wanted to come up with a way to engage with different groups such as young male drivers, car enthusiasts and motorsport enthusiasts.

An Garda Síochána seized the car during an operation that uncovered large volumes of illegal drugs and unexplained cash.

“It wasn’t a traditional car that we would buy, it’s a more high-spec model so it aligned. Other police forces have done similar,” said Supt Geraghty.


The patrol car will be used for road safety education and its unveiling coincides with the Donegal International Rally which takes place this weekend from June 21st to 23rd.

“The Donegal Rally is the biggest motorsport event in Ireland so it worked as a deadline,” he said.

The car is being used as part of new garda initiative. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

It is part of a new Garda initiative called Operation Nexus, which seeks to support engagement with car and motoring enthusiasts with a view to improving road safety and reducing road deaths.

The initiative was launched on Thursday after the ceremonial start and drivers’ briefing in advance of the Donegal Rally in Letterkenny.

The car is moving to different locations around Donegal across the weekend where it has generated some attention already.

“It’s road safety from a different angle, with education and engages with different groups of people,” added Supt Geraghty.

He described the car as an “operational vehicle” which will attend events across the country with examples given as The National Ploughing Championships, festivals, concerts or other rallies.

To engage with car enthusiasts, the Garda want to carry out some modifications to the car and are looking for suggestions from the public.

Currently, the back windows are tinted to within the legal limits and the emergency lights are different from usual Garda vehicles. The car also has QR codes on it that can be scanned by a smartphone and will provide vehicular information.

Gardaí say all modification work will be carried out within the legal limit and will abide by regulations to the level of modifications that can be made to cars beyond factory specifications.