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bail denied Dublin man charged after crashing into Garda Armed Support Unit vehicle after 1hr high speed chase

Matthew Grogan was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning

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Dublin District Court

Dublin District Court

Dublin District Court

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 gardai in the early hours of Thursday.

He was denied bail after appeared 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 dangerous driving, having no licence or motor insurance, possession of cannabis for personal use, criminal damage, and theft of sum of money from the vehicle.

The unemployed man, who was about to start work on a fishing trawler, 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 red-handed in the driver’s seat. The keys were in the ignition when the stolen vehicle was stopped in the Swords area, he alleged.

He 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 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.

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

He told the court Mr Grogan “showed no regard for human life” and “no regard for other road users, or gardai or indeed his own life”.

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

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

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Pleading for bail, the barrister said Mr Grogan was about to start a new job and wanted stability in his life. He submitted that there was no evidence that he 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, Judge Simms said the alleged offences were very serious. He remanded Mr Grogan in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court next Wednesday.

Dressed in a blue T-shirt, runners and blue tracksuit bottoms, the accused did not address the court. He has not yet indicated how he will plead.

Legal aid was granted.

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