Friday 19 January 2018

Car smashes famous front doors of Trinity College

Louise Kelly and Cormac McQuinn

THE historic College Green entrance of Trinity College has been extensively damaged after a car smashed into it this morning.

An elderly man has been arrested after the incident which also saw a number of other vehicles hit.

The incident happened at 6.30am when the car was driven through the open front gates of the college.

A lower section of the wooden door was smashed on impact and an inner door that forms part of the larger doors was left hanging off its hinges.

There were early indications that a number of cars on nearby Dawson Street were also damaged prior to the incident, possibly by the same car.

The man who was arrested is aged 68.

The scene at Trinity college this morning. Photo credit: Brian J Smyth
The scene at Trinity college this morning. Photo credit: Brian J Smyth
The wrecked front door of Trinity is taken away this morning
Trinity damage. Credit: Twitter @twitteration
Trinity door damage Credit: Twitter @onlyindublin
Trinity gates Credit: Twitter @sineadspain

Officers from Pearse Street are investigating the incident. The driver of the car was being questioned at Store Street garda station this morning.

A Trinity College spokesperson said: "The car drove through the Front Gate, following a contracted cleaning van that was entering the college." 

"Despite College’s Security’s efforts to stop the car, it drove onto campus."

"Pursued by College Security it drove through the front section of the College and then drove back towards Front Gate which had been closed by College Security," she said.

"However, the driver proceeded to ram into the historic entrance a number of times, succeeding eventually to break through it and causing damage."

The driver then proceeded to drive onto Dame Street and Nassau Street and then against the traffic on Dawson Street where he was arrested by gardaí at around 6.35am.

Meanwhile, a crew of workers later took down a section of the doorway and carried it away on a truck for assessment.

College authorities closed the front gates after the incident. Gardai towed the car away.

Trinity College said the front entrance to the university will remain closed for the rest of the day to allow for repairs and it is expected to reopen tomorrow.

The college's spokesperson added: "Due to the incident, Front Gate will be closed all day today for repairs and it is anticipated that it will reopen tomorrow."  

"The entrances to Pearse Street and Nassau Street will remain open."

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