IF only this joyrider had known her reputation on the gaelic football field, he may not have messed with young Garda Caitríona O’Malley. The Clare Island native, who just graduated from Templemore Garda College last month, ended up on the bonnet of a convicted criminal’s moving car last Tuesday, in a brave bid to stop a man who escaped from garda custody in Roscommon town.
Fortunately, the plucky young garda was not injured after she was thrown off the car, as 20 year-old Romanian, Ovidiu Rostas, led gardaí on a dramatic chase, which forced the Dublin to Westport train to screech to a halt after he drove through closed railway barriers at Ballymurray.
Earlier that day, Rostas was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for a number of offences when he appeared in the county town’s court. The dramatic series of events led gardaí on a car chase through Roscommon town, out the Athlone Road, where he drove through the railway barriers, and then through a Garda checkpoint at Knockcroghery. Driving at high speed, Rostas drove along the M6 motorway for several kilometres in the wrong direction before ending up in an industrial estate where he was arrested after he crashed his car.
Afterwards, gardaí brought the man back to Roscommon Garda Station where he was charged with a number of traffic offences and with escaping from custody. He was remanded in Castlerea Prison and appeared in Harristown Court on Friday last, July 22.
A spokesman for Roscommon Gardaí said that it was a miracle that nobody was injured during the hair-raising incidents.
There was justifiable pride in the Clare Island community when news filtered through of the heroics of native daughter Caitríona O’Malley. All expressed delight that this renowned gaelic footballer had not been injured.