A man has been charged with theft and assault after a garda was stabbed in Athlone yesterday evening.

The garda received stab wounds to his arm and hands in the assault, which followed an incident on the Dublin to Galway train during which a handbag was reportedly stolen from a woman.

It is understood that the man, who is from the Athlone area and is in his 20s, had been released on bail from a court in Dublin earlier in the day.

Gardai were called after the woman raised the alarm and a detective, aged in his 40s, then approached the man not far from the train station.

The individual produced a knife and slashed the detective on his left arm and on both of his hands.

The garda was taken to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe where was treated. He was discharged last night.

The man is due to appear before Athlone District Court tomorrow and is being held at Athlone Garda Station overnight.