Three held after Garda cars rammed in high-speed chase
Two gardaí are injured as a result of the incident in the early hours of Wednesday
Gardaí in Co Mayo have arrested three men following a high-speed chase during which two Garda patrol cars were rammed. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Gardaí have arrested three men after a high-speed 30km chase in Co Mayo in which a stolen vehicle repeatedly rammed pursuing patrol cars.
The Armed Response Unit and Garda helicopter were also scrambled to the area during the incident. Two gardaí and the suspects were treated in hospital after the chase but none of them sustained serious injuries.
The incident began in the early hours of Wednesday when members of the public contacted the Garda to report a car had been stolen from Horsepark in Castlebar.
Gardaí in a patrol car were on alert looking for the stolen car, a blue Skoda Octavia, which they spotted at Station Road in the town just after 3.30am.
The occupants of the stolen car tried to evade the gardaí and rammed the patrol car in the process. Those in the Skoda then sped from the scene, pursued by the garda car they had just rammed.
The pursuit continued from Castlebar out the Ballinrobe road. Around 10km later the pursuit reached the village of Ballyheane.
Those in the stolen car rammed the Garda car again, this time causing extensive damage to the vehicle before speeding away.
Almost an hour later in the Ballintubber area, a further 10km on from where the chase began, the Octavia was spotted by gardaí in a second patrol car.
A second pursuit began and the patrol car was rammed by the Skoda at Patry, arounnd 20km south of where the incident started more than an hour earlier.
When the second patrol car was rammed in the townland of Kilkerrin, Garda reinforcements arrived into the area. Officers arrived in several vehicles and the Garda helicopter joined in the search for the stolen vehicle, which was discovered in Ballinrobe, some 30km from where it was initially taken.
After the vehicle was stopped, gardaí arrested three men on suspicion of having been in the stolen Skoda Octavia. The suspects are aged 23, 20 and 16 years.
They were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and taken back to Castlebar where they were remained in custody on Wednesday night. The Skoda Octavia was taken from the scene for examination.