Three members of a rural crime gang were arrested early this morning, Tuesday July 12, after they rammed a stolen jeep into Garda cars, injuring four officers, at a checkpoint in Portlaoise.
Just after midnight the men, aged 36, 38 and 39 years, failed to stop at a checkpoint in Cloncourse Portlaoise, set up as part of a Garda operation to target burglaries and theft in rural areas of Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Carlow and Kilkenny,
They were driving a 4x4 vehicle that was stolen in Laois on June 23/24.
They rammed a marked Garda car and collided with a second Garda vehicle. The men fled from the 4x4 into a field close by.
Gardaí immediately searched the area with the assistance of the Garda Air Support Unit and arrested the three men a short time later.
They were brought to Portlaoise and Tullamore Garda Stations where they are currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.
Four Gardaí received non-life threatening injuries during the incident and attended Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise. No other injuries were reported.
Gardaí from five counties including the Laois Offaly division were involved in the operation, backed up by Regional Suport Units and the Garda Air Support Unit.
The scene was preserved for technical examination.
The Garda operation to tackle the rural gangs has so far recovered vehicles, trailers and farm equipment, during on-going searches.
“Gardaí remain focused on tackling travelling criminal gangs and prolific burglars.
An Garda Síochána continues to work closely with the main agricultural representative organisations, IFA, ICMSA, to raise awareness within the farming community and the wider Garda organisation on rural crime,” a press officer said.