. Pictures by Jim Coughlan
Two men are in custody after a high speed chase in which a garda was knocked off his motorcycle in Cork.
The chase got underway after 8am this morning after gardaí got a call about a white Peugeot van seen acting suspiciously in the area of the Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire at around 5.30am.
It was subsequently discovered a quantity of alcohol was stolen from the bar and function room of the hotel.
The number of the van matched that of one stolen from MacCurtain Street at 4pm yesterday afternoon.
Gardaí came across the van around the Douglas Road this morning and tried to stop it. However, the van kept going and travelled onto South Mall and onto the Grand Parade. Attempts to stop the van again failed on Grand Parade.
The van travelled through the city centre to Parnell Place bus station, where gardaí had set up a blockade. The van rammed a garda van and a number of other vehciles and turned onto Brian Boru Bridge, travelling against the flow of traffic, on to Summerhill North.
The van kept going on to the Old Mallow Road and went through a series of smaller roads, bringing it onto the new Mallow Road.
At this point, up to 20 gardaí were involved in the chase.
One of those was a garda on the Mallow Road who was on a motorcycle. He was hit as the van travelled at speed on to the road at Rathduff. The garda has been taken to hospital but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
The van then turned to travel back towards Cork city, on the wrong side of the dual carriageway. It took a right turn towards Blarney and onto Killeens, where gardaí managed to bring the van to a halt and arrest the two men.
They are in their 20s and are being questioned at Gurranabraher garda station.
A quantity of stolen property was recovered from the van.