Gardaí rescued six children after arresting the driver of a car from north Cork, who reportedly rammed six Garda cars during a 30km pursuit following a domestic dispute. *
The incident began about 9.40pm when a member of the public notified gardaí that they had seen a woman open a door on a van being driven by a man on the southward lane of the N8 near Fermoy.
The member of the public reported that the driver of the van was struggling with the woman and that there were children in the van who appeared distressed.
A Garda car then attempted to stop the van near Mahon Point on the N40 after it came through the Jack Lynch Tunnel.
According to gardaí, the driver of the van rammed this Garda car and then veered off the N40 on to the N28 heading for Ringaskiddy in the Lower Harbour and continued through Shanbally, pursued by several Garda cars.
The van driver then did a U-turn in Ringaskiddy and headed back towards Cork City at speed and then rammed another five Garda cars as they attempted to intercept him.
Gardaí also requested support from the Armed Support Unit (ASU) from Anglesea Street station to stop the van.
Members of the ASU used a stinger device to stop the van as it travelled back towards Cork City on the N28 on Carr’s Hill at about 10.20pm.
The male driver, aged in his 30s, was arrested and taken to the Bridewell Garda station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows suspects to be detained for up to 24 hours.
All six children, including an infant, were medically examined but it is understood that they were uninjured as was the woman in the van, their mother. Gardaí were last night in contact with the Family and Child agency, Tusla.
Two gardaí, a male officer and a female officer, were taken to Cork University Hospital for X-rays and other examinations after one of the rammings and it is understood they suffered ligament injuries.
Anyone with any information in relation to this incident or video footage is asked to contact Anglesea Garda station on (021) 452 2000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.
Gardaí said they will fully investigate the incident, which they believe was sparked by a domestic dispute, but they say it was fortunate that no one was seriously injured or killed in the escapade.
“Thankfully we were able to stop this vehicle using a stinger device and all six children are safe and well — they are all very young — we were very fortunate that this didn’t end in tragedy for someone,” a Garda source said.
According to a Garda spokesman, all members involved in the incident are receiving support from their colleagues and local Garda Management as well as wider organisation supports.
These include assistance from the Peer Support Group and the Garda Chief Medical Officer while a 24 hour counselling service is also being provided if required, he said.
* This article was updated on September 29th, 2022 to amend the number of children in the van.