Man charged over high-speed chase in which stolen van collided with Garda vehicles

Matthew Grogan (23) is denied bail during appearance at Dublin District Court

A Dublin man has been charged over a high-speed one-hour traffic pursuit in which a stolen van collided with Garda Armed Support Unit  vehicles. File photograph: Getty Images

A Dublin man has been charged over a high-speed one-hour traffic pursuit in which a stolen van collided with Garda Armed Support Unit vehicles. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A Dublin man has been charged over a “dramatic” high-speed one-hour traffic pursuit in which a stolen van collided with Garda Armed Support Unit (ASU) vehicles.

Matthew Grogan (23), of Bramley Terrace, Swords, Co Dublin, was arrested and detained by gardaí in the early hours of Thursday.

He was denied bail during an appearance before Judge Dermot Simms at Dublin District Court on Saturday.

He is charged with unlawfully using a stolen 191-reg Toyota Proace van which was taken on Wednesday in Swords, as well as with dangerous driving, having no licence or motor insurance, possession of cannabis for personal use, criminal damage, and theft of a sum of money from the vehicle.

He also faces a connected charge for trespassing at a property in Ardee, Co Louth, before the traffic pursuit.

During a contested bail hearing, Garda Jordan Martin told the court Mr Grogan was caught in the driver’s seat of the van.

The garda objected to bail due to the seriousness of the case. The accused was detained at Coolock Garda station following his arrest over a “high-speed, highly dangerous pursuit from Ardee”, the garda said.

He alleged the man failed to stop as he drove southbound at about 2am on Thursday on the M1 followed by ASU and other Garda patrol vehicles.

It was alleged he left the motorway and continued onto the R132, where he broke red lights and then drove northbound on a southbound lane.

Mr Martin alleged the stolen van performed a U-turn and then came to a halt when the van collided with two ASU vehicles, causing damage to them.

He accused Mr Grogan of having shown “no regard for human life” and “no regard for other road users, or gardaí, or indeed his own life”.

‘Disputed evidence’

Defence counsel Kevin McCrave said his client disputed evidence that he admitted to gardaí that he knew the van was stolen.

Questioned about citing the seriousness of the case as reason to object to bail, the garda agreed that directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions have not been received yet.

Pleading for bail, Mr McCrave said Mr Grogan was about to start a new job and wanted stability in his life. He submitted that there was no evidence that his client would interfere with witnesses.

The details of the case were somewhat dramatic but Mr Grogan could be ordered to obey strict bail conditions and he would self-impose house arrest, counsel said.

He could sign on twice daily at a Garda station and obey a curfew, the defence proposed.

Refusing bail, however, Mr Justice Simms said the alleged offences were very serious. He remanded Mr Grogan in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court next Wednesday.

The accused did not address the court. He has not yet indicated how he will plead.

Legal aid was granted.