Garda helicopter struggled to keep up with boy racer

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The Garda helicopter 'struggled to keep up' with a 17-year-old boy-racer as he drove a car up to 240km/h along the N7.

The dangerous chase ended when the car collided with a Garda armed response unit vehicle on the N7.

The teenager stole his mothers' car and drove it at speeds close to 150 miles-per-hour. He was travelling so fast and dangerously, that even the Garda helicopter found it difficult to keep up with him.

The high-speed pursuit has resulted in the young driver being remanded on continuing bail. The judge in the case has deferred a trial until a psychological report is carried out. The case will resume at the Dublin Children’s Court in September.

The now 17-year-old was charged with multiple crimes to include, motor theft, dangerous driving, endangerment of life and driving without a licence or insurance.

The boy from South Dublin, who was 16 years old at the time took his mothers car on the night of 14 November 2018 last. There is a possibility that the case could be moved from the children's court to the Circuit Court which has tougher sentencing powers on recommendation from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Gardaí were alerted to the theft and the car was first spotted at Junction 10 on the M50 but it was then lost by Gardaí. The guards then saw the car travelling in the opposite direction to them around midnight on the N81 in Tallaght.

A garda said in a statement that he seen the boy driving at 40km/h but then when he spotted the squad car, he “took off at high speed” onto the Luas tracks at Citywest at which time a high-speed chase ensued along the tracks. Luas controllers were alerted to slow down oncoming trams so as not to get into any danger as the speeding car sped along the tracks and then back onto the N7.

The court heard that the teen came “came close to colliding with other vehicles” and that's when the Garda Air Support Unit was called out but even then, the helicopter “struggled to keep up”.

After the car collided with the Garda armed response unit vehicle on the N7, the teen was taken to hospital as he was deemed unfit for interview, but he was later questioned by Gardaí in the presence of his father, at which point he admitted in his statement that he “flew through junctions” and could have killed someone.

The court also heard the youth had been affected by traumatic experiences and health problems when he was a younger child who had a “devastating” impact on his development. So whatever has occurred in this young man's life, we would hope that he learns from this experience and choose not to go down that road ever again.

He was also hospitalised last year because of suicide ideation and has also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Not that these things are an excuse for destructive and dangerous life-threatening behaviour, but it does show that the court has some serious things to consider and deliberate on, before his sentencing.

His mother who was the injured party, was in court to support her son, and of course, both his parents do not want to see him sent to a detention centre. A forensic psychological assessment of the boy has been arranged.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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