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SHOTS FIRED Two criminals held after house is shot up and car rams gardai in M50 chase

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Two criminals currently out on bail have been arrested on suspicion of firing shots at a Dublin home before ramming a garda car during the failed high-speed getaway.

Both men as well as a garda were hospitalised following yesterday's early morning motorway chase, which is now being examined by the Garda ombudsman.

Detectives are also investigating the circumstances surrounding the earlier shooting during which a house in the Heathfield Drive area of Finglas was targeted.

The two suspects are known to gardaí, with the older man currently before the courts in relation to a multi-million euro drugs haul.

Yesterday's incident began at 3am when shots were fired at the front of a house on Heathfield Drive.

Nobody was in the property at the time and gardaí are trying to establish the motive for the gun attack.

Gardaí were alerted with members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) responding.

A short time later they came across the suspect vehicle, a silver Suzuki, fleeing the scene.

Flipped

The car was pursued by gardaí along the M50 before coming to the N4 junction at Palmerstown.

It's understood the driver of the Suzuki then rammed into the garda car, but flipped his own car in doing so.

The two men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were arrested and brought to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

One of the suspects, a Ballymun man in his early 30s, is currently on bail in relation to a multi-million euro drug seizure.

The younger man is originally from Clondalkin and has been arrested in the past in relation to violent crimes.

A garda was also injured in the ramming and hospitalised as a precaution.

During a follow-up search of the vehicle gardaí recovered a firearm, which has been sent for analysis.

"These two men are certainly known to gardaí, but wouldn't be considered as being affiliated with any particular crime gang," a source said.

"The older man appears to have been used as a gillie in a recent drugs operation that was foiled, while the younger suspect can be considered a bit of a head case.

"The motive for this incident is still being looked at and gardaí are waiting for the two men to be medically cleared before they can be questioned."

The two suspects can be held for up to three days upon their discharge from hospital.

A garda spokesman said that a technical examination of the house and vehicle has also been carried out and that investigations are ongoing.

The spokesman added that gardaí are appealing for anyone with information in relation to the incident to contact Finglas Garda Station.

A separate inquiry is also being carried out by the Garda watchdog in relation to the road traffic collision between the garda car and the Suzuki.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) got a referral in relation to the incident shortly before 5am and is carrying out its own examination.

Pursued

Following this preliminary inquiry a decision will then be made whether to upgrade it to a formal investigation, or determine that the matter does not need further investigation.

A spokeswoman for the Garda Ombudsman said: "Gsoc received a referral (in accordance with section 102 (1) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005) from the Garda Síochána at 4.56am today in relation to an incident in which a vehicle, which was being pursued by gardaí, overturned on the N4 close to the M50 junction.

"Two occupants of the vehicle received injuries and one garda member was also brought to hospital for examination.

"The matter is now under examination by Gsoc."

Gsoc is also investigating a separate road collision in Dublin last week in which a 45-year-old Moldovan man lost his life.

Anatolie Butucel died on September 22 after his car was ploughed into head on by a Passat being driven the wrong way down the N7.

The car had earlier interacted with gardaí before fleeing and the Gsoc investigation is focused on this encounter.

Herald