Warning shot fired, five arrested after garda vehicle rammed in Donegal
Gardaí believe driver and passengers had come across the Border from the North
One of the gardaí involved in the operation suffered a suspected fractured hand during the incident and was taken to hospital for treatment. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Gardaí have arrested five people and discharged a warning shot after a car carrying a driver and four passengers rammed a Garda vehicle and was then crashed as the driver tried to escape.
The incident occurred in Co Donegal and gardaí believe the driver and his passengers had earlier come across the Border from Northern Ireland, where they were trying to escape back to when the driver lost control of the car.
The man driving the vehicle then tried to run from gardaí after he crashed. However, a Garda member gave chase and found the man in a shed before other members of the force arrived and the suspect was overpowered.
One of the gardaí involved in the operation, believed to be the garda that cornered the driver in the shed, suffered a suspected fractured hand during the incident and was taken to hospital for treatment.
The incident began at about 1.30pm on Sunday near Drumlonagher just outside Donegal Town when detectives in a Garda vehicle met another car, carrying the three men and two women.
“Gardaí signalled for a jeep, which appeared to be driving in a dangerous manner, to pull over just after Drumlonagher in Donegal Town. This vehicle failed to stop and proceeded to drive away from gardaí,” a Garda statement said.
When efforts we made by gardaí to the stop the car with the five occupants the driver rammed the Garda vehicle. He then sped from the scene towards the N15 towards Ballyshannon but was pursued by gardaí.
About 3km into that pursuit the driver that had rammed the Garda car came to the Tullyearl roundabout, where a Garda Covid-19 checkpoint was in place. The driver took the roundabout on the wrong side and at speed and lost control of his car before crashing and then feeling into a field on foot but was pursued.
The driver and his four passengers were all arrested by gardaí but have since been released, with the driver charged and due to appear before the courts on Monday.
The Garda member who sustained the hand injury was taken from treatment to Letterkenny University Hospital.
As a warning shot was discharged during the incident the matter has been notified to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, which must be informed any time a Garda member discharges an official firearm.