Irish News

Thursday 21 August 2014

Trinity vandal screamed at security to open gates

Cormac Murphy and Ken Foy

Published 03/04/2014 | 02:30

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The front entrance of Trinity College Dublin where a vehicle collided with its front door on College Green, Dublin. Photo: Collins
The front entrance of Trinity College Dublin where a vehicle collided with its front door on College Green, Dublin. Photo: Collins
Removal of the damaged oak door at the entrance to Trinity College, Dublin. Gareth Chaney/Collins
The damaged gate at Trinity College, Dublin. Gareth Chaney/Collins

THE driver of a car that rammed through Trinity College's 200-year-old gates had screamed at a security man to open them.

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Trinity is still assessing the full cost of reinstating the solid oak gates, which were badly damaged.

When the driver arrived at the front gates, he rolled down the window and shouted at a security guard to open them before ramming the barriers, according to witness Veronica Cadwell.

She had arrived at the university at about 6.20am yesterday to begin her daily cleaning shift.

About 10 minutes later, she and one of her colleagues were ushered into the security office beside the main entrance to avoid the speeding car.

"He (the driver) was flying around the place inside Trinity. I'd say it was about 10 minutes after I was there, at about 6.30am or 6.35am. I saw the mayhem and the chaos that happened."

Ms Cadwell continued: "He (the driver) opened the window and he was roaring at the security fella, 'open the gates.' I'm in shock." She said "mad, blaring music" was coming from the vehicle.

"He kept reversing back and hitting the front doors. He was reversing back and smashing them. He eventually got out.

"It all happened very quickly. By Jesus, he got through those gates. He really forced his way... It was very frightening.

"The security fella was brilliant. He had everything under control."

After ramming his way through, the man proceeded on to College Green and then Nassau Street, before turning the wrong way up Dawson Street.

A number of cars were damaged along the way.

Gardai arrested a 68-year-old man, understood to be a retired publican from Finglas.

He was released without charge last night. Gardai said investigations are continuing.

A source said it was a "miracle" no one was injured, with the car almost colliding with a van on the street.

The drama unfolded after a man had tailgated a contract cleaning van in through the gates of the college. He then drove around the campus, striking a number of cars.

The Trinity entrance is expected to reopen today.

Irish Independent

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