herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Driver charged with damaging gates of Trinity

John Farrell
John Farrell

A DUBLIN man has been charged with damaging the historic front gates of Trinity College, which were rammed by a car in an incident earlier this year.

John Farrell (66) was brought before Dublin District Court charged with causing criminal damage to the gates, other property and vehicles, as well as multiple counts of endangerment of life, hit and run and dangerous driving.

The gates, dating back to the 1870s, had to undergo extensive repairs after an incident in which a car was driven through them.

In total, Mr Farrell is alleged to have caused more than €61,000 worth of damage - including the cost of repairing the gates, which was valued at in excess of €43,000.

He is facing trial by judge and jury on a total of 21 charges. Judge James Faughnan granted him bail and adjourned the case for the preparation of a book of evidence.

damage

The defendant, with an address at Faussagh Avenue, Cabra is charged with causing criminal damage to the front gates of Trinity College, with a repair value of €43,816. The offence is alleged to have happened on April 2 last.

He is charged with four more counts of criminal damage to vehicles and other property and three counts each of endangerment and dangerous driving.

Eight further counts are of hit and run in relation to alleged damage caused to two vehicles, with two charges of having no road tax and failing to display a tax disc. The offences are all alleged to have happened at and around Trinity College on the day.

Garda Anthony Brazil told the court he arrested the defendant at Pearse Street Station yesterday and he made no reply to any of the charges when they were put to him.

The defendant was handed a copy of the charge sheets. Garda Brazil said the DPP was directing trial on indictment. This means the case will be sent forward for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

He had no objection to bail and sought an eight-week remand for the preparation of the book of evidence.

The court heard the defendant was unemployed but his lawyer said he was "reserving his position on legal aid".

Judge Faughnan noted that the charges were "substantial" and serious. He granted bail in the accused's own bond of €1,000, with a cash lodgement of €300.

The defendant's lawyer said Mr Farrell had family members and neighbours in court who could lodge money.

He said the accused required medication and it was "imperative that he is released today".

The accused did not address the court during the hearing.

Mr Farrell took up bail and was released later. He is to appear in court again on November 26.

The charges against him are under the Criminal Damage, Road Traffic and Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Acts.

The historic front gates of Trinity were erected in the early 1870s as part of a college refurbishment and entrance to the Front Square, replacing the original gate from 1759.

They were reinstated after the repairs were carried out.

hnews@herald.ie

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