The trial of a man accused of causing €7m worth of criminal damage to a Monet painting at the National Gallery has heard that he had paint stripper in his bag.
Former French polisher Andrew Shannon from Willans Way in Ongar told a garda at the scene that he felt weak and had fallen against the artwork.
One eyewitness claims Andrew Shannon’s fist was like a hammer as it hit the Monet painting, which is valued at €10m.
The head of security at the National Gallery has given evidence it was struck with such force an alarm on the other side of the partition wall went off.
While Andrew Shannon said he had chest pain and collapsed against the painting, Christian Clotworthy told the jury he believed that it was just an act.
"I read the situation as a security incident rather than a medical one," he said.
A paramedic who arrived at the gallery has given evidence the 48-year-old's vital signs were normal and that the patient was very stable.
He said he drew a garda’s attention to a can of paint stripper in Andrew Shannon’s bag.
'Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat' is the only Money painting currently residing in Ireland.