A man from North Cork is due in court today in connection with the ramming of six Garda cars by a van that was carrying six young children.
The man, aged in his 30s, is to appear before Cork District Court at 10.30am on foot of garda investigations into "endangerment of members of the public, garda members and related incidents".
The incident began on the M8 near Fermoy on Wednesday night when a van was spotted driving erratically, heading southbound towards Cork city. A woman was in the van with the male driver, along with six young children, aged from an infant up to a 10-year-old.
Gardaí believe the rammings followed a domestic incident earlier on Wednesday.
According to gardaí, officers attempted to stop the van in the Mahon area but their vehicle was rammed. It was hit again a short time later when gardaí tried to engage with the driver.
The Regional Support Unit was called amid fears for the children's safety, and "a managed containment operation ensued" after other Garda vehicles were struck.
"A stinger device was successfully deployed at Carrs Hill and the vehicle was brought to a halt," said a Garda spokesman.
The driver was arrested and taken to Bridewell Garda Station. He was being questioned last night under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and is expected to be charged today.
Gardaí have interviewed the woman but the children are too young to be interviewed and were visibly distressed by the incident.
Two gardaí received hospital treatment on Wednesday night, before being discharged. They and another colleague received whiplash-type injuries.
Garda Representative Association executive member for Cork city, Garda Padraig Harrington said the incident could have resulted “in far graver consequences”.
“Once again this incident again highlights the dangers faced by our frontline members on a daily basis and the urgent need for adequate resources and personnel to police the region and give our members the support and equipment so badly needed," he said.
"Tuesday’s announcement of 1,000 new gardaí for 2023 will barely cover this, and that is even if these numbers are achieved, which is entirely doubtful.”
A Garda spokesman said the incident, along with a ramming of a Garda car in Ballintemple in Cork city on Monday night and an incident in Cherry Orchard in Dublin recently, further highlight the dangers faced by members of An Garda Síochána. The spokesperson said an extensive network of employee support is available to officers.
Anyone with information in relation to this incident or video footage is asked to contact Anglesea St Garda Station on 021 4522000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.