Armed garda crushed by stolen car
A plain-clothes garda had his hip smashed when he was crushed by a stolen car which reversed into him after being trapped in a cul de sac.
Despite lying screaming in agony on the ground after being hit, the detective was still thinking about the safety of the public and unloaded his own gun to make it safe while an ambulance raced to the scene.
The drama unfolded at around 11pm on Saturday when a car was stolen outside a house in Newhaven Avenue in Balbriggan in north county Dublin.
Local sources say that, in an unusual twist of fate, the brother of the owner of the car spotted it being driven after he had learned it was stolen and alerted gardaí to its location.
But the incident turned serious when gardaí in an unmarked car pulled up behind the stolen vehicle in nearby Clonuske Rise.
Witness Maria Byrne described the scenes, which started with her hearing a loud bang and crunching sound outside her home.
"I looked out the door to see what it was, and I could see a man lying on the ground beside a car and he was roaring with the pain," she told the Irish Independent.
"Then, the other car, which we found out later was stolen, revved up and sped away from the scene," she added.
"The stolen car turned the corner into a cul de sac and drove into a wall, and I heard the guy that was in it got out and jumped the wall," Ms Byrne explained.
"The woman got out and started to walk away, but then went back to the car to get something from it, and neighbours saw her walking back out of the estate past us and the injured garda on the ground, and they shouted to the gardaí that the woman had been in the car and she was arrested around the corner.
"She had walked straight past the injured garda," she said.
Meanwhile, locals and gardaí were comforting the injured detective as he shouted in pain.
"He was on his side and they turned him on his back, and me and some of the other neighbours brought out blankets to make him more comfortable, but he was in agony," Ms Byrne added.
"As we rolled him on to his back, his gun came out of his holster and was on the ground beside him.
"I went to pick it up in case someone would take it, but he said to me 'don't touch it, it's loaded'," she explained.
"He got the gun and unloaded it himself, and the bullet came out of it. He insisted on doing it himself despite being badly injured," Ms Byrne said.
"There must have been 30 gardaí at one stage, and the ambulance and fire brigade too, and a big search went on for the guy that got over the wall," she added.
"I heard he was arrested since. I hope the garda will be all right. He kept on shouting about his hip," she explained.
"The ambulance crew had to cut the clothes off him as a they were treating him. It was terrible what happened to him," she added.
A garda spokesman said a man and woman, both aged in their mid-20s, will appear before Dublin District Court this morning charged in connection with the incident.
He added that two other gardai received minor injuries, one requiring treatment at Beaumont Hospital.
It is understood the garda who was badly injured has since undergone surgery.
Two garda vehicles were also damaged during the incident.