'The Beast' felled by US embassy ramp
Published 24/05/2011 | 05:00
Cadillac One, aka 'the Beast', became stuck on the apex of the exit ramp at the American Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin for nearly three hours before a team with two recovery trucks (below) came to the rescue. Martin Nolan
DESIGNED to withstand a military-scale onslaught, the US presidential car came a cropper on a ramp yesterday.
Secret Service men were left scratching their sharply coiffured heads after one of the gleaming black Cadillacs became wedged on a steep ramp exiting the US Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin at lunchtime.
It was all too much for the €214,000 ($300,000) vehicle, which, with its reinforced steel plating, is built to withstand bullets, chemical attack and a missile strike.
Onlookers craned their necks to see who might emerge from the damaged Cadillac One, known informally as 'the Beast'.
The Secret Servicemen may also have been waiting with bated breath as even they are never told which of the three cars the president is using. But eyewitness Euan Plenderleiph, manager of the Herbert Park Hotel, said that Barack Obama was travelling behind the ill-fated car.
The presidential vehicle then had to reverse around the US embassy and use an alternative exit in order to get him to Moneygall on time for his creamy pint.
"It came up the ramp and there was a loud noise. It dropped in front and the wheels became raised off the ground," Mr Plenderleiph said.
"There was a big cheer from the crowd. They reversed the car back around and turned. He was smiling and laughing in the car and the crowd were cheering him. He was definitely in the second car. It looked more like security personnel in the first."
Paul Crowley, who works near the embassy, revealed that nothing happened for a few minutes after the car stopped. He said a grey bus pulled around to block the exit from view and the presidential flag was quickly removed from the bonnet of the car.
"We were hoping he might have come out to say hello," Mr Crowley added.
Two recovery trucks were swiftly called and workers tried to remove the Cadillac while 30 onlookers watched the proceedings with bemusement.
It was almost three hours before the car was removed from sight to the rear of the embassy for assessment.
Irish Independent Supplement