A 66-year-old Dublin man is to stand trial charged with wrecking the historic wooden front gate of Trinity College Dublin during an alleged dangerous driving incident six months ago.
John Farrell, from Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, was granted bail after he was brought before Judge James Faughnan at a late sitting of Dublin District Court this evening.
He is facing 21 charges including allegations of criminal damage, endangerment of life, dangerous driving and hit-and-run, in connection with the incident on April 2 last.
One of his charges is for causing €43,816 worth of damages to front wooden gate at Trinity College Dublin. He is also accused of causing about €18,000 worth of damage to other property in Trinity and to vehicles on nearby streets.
The offences are alleged to have occurred at Trinity College, Dawson Street, College Green and Nassau Street.
Pearse Street Garda Anthony Brazil told Judge Faughnan that Mr Farrell was charged with the offences at 1.20pm today and he “made no reply”.
The DPP has directed trial on indictment meaning the 66-year-old will be tried in the Circuit Court which has tougher sentencing powers.
Dressed in a black and white striped T-shirt and grey trousers, Mr Farrell was accompanied to the brief hearing by his barrister, while friends and members of his family watched from the public gallery.
He did not address the court and there has been no indication yet as to how he intends to plead.
Garda Brazil said there was objection to bail and he asked for an adjournment to allow time to prepare the book of evidence.
Judge Faughnan said the charges were serious and that €300 would have to be lodged before the unemployed defendant could take up bail. Counsel defending said that family and neighbours of Mr Farrell were in court and they would lodge the sum sought.
The court also heard that Mr Farrell is on medication and it was imperative that he get released.
Judge Faughnan remanded him on bail and ordered him to appear again on November 26 when it is expected he is to be served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial.
The famous wooden gate was erected in the early 1870s as part of refurbishment in the college, replacing the original 1759 gates. Made of oak it had distinctive high relief and high fielded diamond shaped panelling.
It was originally constructed from European oak with pine inner linings. After it was severely damaged in April it was replaced in June.