Farmer Larry Fay was the unlikely hero in a high-speed garda chase in Co Meath. The sheep and suckler farmer was minding his own business on Valentine’s Day, sorting ewes to bring them home for feeding. Taking a chance to save time, Fay parked his tractor and double-deck trailer, partially blocking a quiet road in the Drumconrath area. With the top deck loaded, he returned to the pen to start loading the second batch of ewes.

Suddenly a van going at high speed came into view, with a squad car in hot pursuit. Unable to pass Fay’s tractor and trailer, the van screeched to a halt and the driver abandoned the vehicle. The gardaí were not far behind, beaching their squad car on the bank on the side of the road in their haste.

“He ran through the sheep, jumped out of the pen and ran off up the hill,” Fay told The Dealer. “It’s a fairly steep hill and the lad wasn’t the fittest so he wasn’t going anywhere fast. The guards were shouting at him to give up, that they knew who he was. I said to him that he may get it over with that day.”

As more gardaí arrived in two more squad cars, an unmarked car and a garda van, the driver gave himself up.

“The guards thanked me but they were there for another hour waiting for a tow truck to take away their squad car,” Fay told The Dealer.

“I was trying to save time by parking on the road but I ended up being there for hours.”