herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Man accused of ramming Trinity Gates in car faces new charges

Trinity's new gates

A DUBLIN man accused of damaging the historic front gates of Trinity College in a car ramming incident has had a further charge of endangerment of life brought against him.

John Farrell (66) is now facing a total of 22 charges over the incident in which more than €61,000 worth of damage was caused to the gates, other property and vehicles last April.

He had already been charged with criminal damage, as well as multiple counts of endangerment of life, hit and run and dangerous driving.

Mr Farrell is facing trial by judge and jury on all counts and Judge Michael Walsh adjourned the case at Dublin District Court for the preparation of a book of evidence.

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

The total damage valuation includes a repair bill of more than €43,000.

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.

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 damage caused to two vehicles, with two charges of having no road tax and failing to display it.

The offences are all alleged to have happened at and around Trinity College on April 2 last.

Garda Anthony Brazil told the court he charged the defendant with the new count of endangerment this morning and he had nothing to say after caution.

A State Solicitor said the DPP was directing trial on indictment and asked Judge Walsh to extend existing bail to the new charge.

The defendant’s barrister applied for free legal aid, saying the accused was not working, had no source of income as he had been unable to obtain a retirement pension. The court heard he was getting financial assistance from neighbours and relatives.

Judge Walsh granted legal aid and adjourned the case to a date in January.

At a previous hearing, Judge James Faughnan granted bail in the accused's own bond of €1,000, with a cash lodgement of €300 required.

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 gates from 1759.

They were reinstated after the repairs were carried out.

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