herald

Monday 18 December 2017

New charge in Trinity gates ramming case

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.

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

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

Repairs

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

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.

This sum is part of the total estimated €61,000 worth of damage arising from the incident.

Mr Farrell is also 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 yesterday 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, and had no source of income as he had been unable to obtain a retirement pension.

Assistance

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.

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

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.

hnews@herald.ie

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