There have been demands for increased garda resources to combat anti-social behaviour along Dublin's Grand Canal after a scrambler bike struck a young woman, inflicting serious injuries.
Gardaí are searching for the driver, described as a youth, who fled the scene with the aid of a friend also driving a scrambler.
The incident happened at lunchtime at the Drimnagh Luas Stop, along a stretch of the Red Line that runs parallel to the Grand Canal.
It follows a series of assaults, on pedestrians and cyclists, by gangs of youths near the canal.
A Garda statement described the incident, which occurred at 1.45pm on Thursday, as a “serious hit and run”.
It said: “Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene of a serious hit and run road traffic collision where a woman (late 20s) was struck by a youth on a scrambler motorbike.
"Upon impact the motorbike and the youth went into the canal. The youth managed to swim to the side of the canal and left the scene on another motorbike.
"The woman was removed to St James Hospital with serious injuries.”
Gardaí have appealed for any witnesses or drivers with dash cams to contact Sundrive Road Garda Station on 01-6666600 or the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111.
Local Sinn Féin councillor, Daithí Doolan, said the incident brings recent violence and anti-social behaviour in the area to “another level”.
He said: “That whole area, not just the Luas line, needs serious attention. Gardaí and Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland need to be on the same page and bring resources to bear.”
He said garda powers are very limited to combat scramblers, saying this issue has been highlighted both at the nearby Ballyfermot Local Policing Forum and the Dublin South Central Joint Policing Committee, both held earlier this week.
He questioned the Garda Commissioner's commitment after reports that he had told Dublin garda chiefs to cut their overtime spend by €23m this year.
He criticised the Government for continuing delays in introducing new laws to give gardaí power to seize scramblers driven illegally in public and in parks.
He said he is hearing reports of assaults in the wider area along the canal — stretching from Ballyfermot down to Rialto — “nearly on a daily basis” and demanded more policing.
Cllr Doolan said gardaí are not given enough resources by the Government and called for greater investment in policing.