A criminal drove the wrong way down the M50 motorway during a terrifying incident in rush hour traffic yesterday evening.
Two people required hospital treatment after the van in which he was driving smashed into their Audi car shortly before 6pm on a slip road near Santry as he drove at high speed on the wrong side of the road.
The 27-year-old suspect, from Cork, was being questioned in Ballymun Garda Station and is understood to have been "highly intoxicated" when gardai arrested him after he was treated in hospital last night.
The incident began when the suspect stole a white van from a yard in Dunleer, Co Louth, during the course of a burglary at around 4pm.
Gardai first became aware of the situation when the box type van was reported to be driving erratically on the southbound lane of the M1 near the Balbriggan exit.
A motorcycle officer from Santry Garda Station responded to the report and observed the criminal swaying in and out of traffic as the van reached the M50.
The garda pulled over the van and noticing that the suspect was intoxicated, he called for back-up.
But as four garda traffic units responded, the 27-year-old fled the scene.
A source explained that he turned around and drove the wrong way up the motorway and took the slip road onto the M1 and was driving in the direction of Coolock when he crashed into a couple's car.
Both the van and their car suffered major damage in the incident and the husband-and-wife from the Lucan area later required hospital treatment.
It is understood that the woman suffered particularly bad whiplash in the smash while her husband's injuries were less serious.
Roads were closed at this stage as ambulance personnel and a large amount of gardai dealt with the situation.
The suspect also required hospital treatment and was arrested as soon as he was dealt with by medics at Beaumont Hospital.
The Herald has learned that the arrested man is extremely well known to gardai and is on bail in relation to an armed robbery at a service station in Cork last May.
Two raiders armed with knives held up staff during the course of that robbery.
It is understood that the suspect is a heroin addict with a spate of previous criminal convictions linked to his drug addiction.