Sunday 25 February 2018

Man (66) facing trial charged with ramming historic Trinity College gates

John Farrell
John Farrell

Andrew Phelan

A man has been sent for trial charged with damaging the historic front gates of Trinity College in a car ramming incident.

John Farrell (66) had a book of evidence served on him at Dublin District Court today.

He is facing trial on a total of 22 charges over the incident last year in which more than €61,000 worth of damage was caused to the gates, other property and vehicles.

Of the total damage caused, some €43,816 worth was to the gates themselves, which have since been repaired and reinstated.

Mr Farrell, with an address at Faussagh Avenue, Cabra is charged with causing criminal damage to the gates. He is also charged with four more counts of criminal damage to vehicles and other property, as well as three counts each of endangerment of life 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 year.

Mr Farrell has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charges.

The case has been before the court several times and was adjourned previously because the defendant was in hospital.

Mr Farrell was present today and a book of evidence was presented to him. A State Solicitor said the DPP was consenting to the accused being returned for trial to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The DPP directed trial on indictment on all charges.

Judge Michael Walsh gave the defendant the formal warning that he must provide within 14 days to the prosecution details of any alibi he intends to rely on in the course of his trial.

Mr Farrell was remanded on bail on existing terms pending his trial.

Previously, the accused was granted free legal aid, after the court was not working, and had no source of income as he had been unable to obtain a retirement pension.

The court heard he was getting financial assistance from friends and relatives.

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 following repairs last June.

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