Two gardaí were injured in Limerick early yesterday morning when their car hit a loose horse.

The Garda Representative Association said that one of the gardaí suffered a broken arm and head injuries.

The garda, who is based at Roxboro Road Station, is still being treated in hospital after the incident on the N18.

The horse died at the scene.

GRA spokesperson John O'Keefe said the incident highlights the huge issue of loose horses for gardaí around the country.

In particular, stray horses are a problem in Limerick, he said, where last year 12 horses were seized in one instance by Limerick Council in a clampdown. In 2016, more than 2,000 horses were taken away.

Mr O'Keefe said gardaí in Limerick were regularly getting calls from the public reporting loose and stray horses.

He said these "large, wild" animals can cause serious damage, as this recent incident shows. He said the only surprise is that the gardaí in this case were not killed by the horse.

He called for a complete ban on horses grazing within the city boundaries and said it needed to be prioritised at the next joint policing committee meeting in Limerick.

Mr O'Keefe appealed to the owners of the horse to recognise that owning animals comes with responsibilities regarding safety, not just safety of gardaí, but that of the general public too.