Female garda needed surgery after being struck by stolen car

Victim recovering in hospital from third serious injury in short policing career

 Cianlea estate, Swords where a female Garda was seriously injured when she was hit by a car in the early hours of yesterday morning. Photograph Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Cianlea estate, Swords where a female Garda was seriously injured when she was hit by a car in the early hours of yesterday morning. Photograph Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

 


A garda recovering in hospital after being rammed against her patrol car by a stolen vehicle was lucky to have escaped with her life, according to senior officers.

Garda Karen Duffy was driven at by four teenagers in a stolen Nissan Micra as she stepped from a Garda car to check reports of suspicious activity in Swords, north Co Dublin, just before 3.30am yesterday.

As she was stepping from the passenger seat the stolen car drove immediately towards her. It made contact at speed, ramming her car door back into her.

“If her head, rather than her body, had taken even a tiny bit more of the impact when she got squashed it could have turned out very differently,” said a Garda source familiar with the case.


Impact
After the impact, the stolen car sped from the scene on the Cian Lea estate and the injured garda’s colleagues went to her assistance.

She had sustained serious head injuries and was taken by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital, where she has undergone surgery and was recovering last night.

Garda sources said Garda Duffy, who is in her 20s and is based at Swords Garda station, is expected to make a full physical recovery but that could take some time.

She had been seriously injured twice previously while on duty. In 2009 she and a colleague chased a stolen Mercedes at speeds of up to 200km/h before using their car to prevent the stolen vehicle driving the wrong way up the M1 in Dublin. They were rammed at speed in the process.

In an unrelated incident three years later the garda was head-butted when she blocked a man fleeing a pub as he was being questioned about a fight.

The Nissan involved in the latest incident had been reported stolen from the Santry area, a neighbouring suburb of Ballymun in north Dublin where the suspects in custody last night are from.

The injured garda had gone to the area with colleagues in a patrol car to investigate reports of suspicious behaviour by the occupants of a white Nissan Micra. A number of people believed the youths were attempting to break into houses and garden sheds.


Rammed
Upon arriving at the Cian Lea estate, the garda subsequently injured had decided to approach a vehicle fitting the description in the complaints from the public when she was rammed and injured.

After the stolen car fled the scene a major back-up operation was put in place involving unmarked Garda cars, patrol cars and the Garda helicopter.

The Garda emergency line received a number of further calls from members of the public, which led them to the Talbot Hall apartment block in Swords less than 30 minutes after the ramming incident.

The stolen Micra was seized and two juveniles arrested. They were detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Coolock Garda station.

The seized vehicle is undergoing examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau and the scene where the female garda was injured has also been examined.