One of Dublin’s main thoroughfares was brought to a standstill for almost five hours yesterday as a distressed man threatened to jump from the roof of a six-storey building.
Gardaí eventually managed to talk the unidentified man down to safety but only after he had repeatedly terrified onlookers by moving back and forth to the edge of the roof and climbing onto a narrow ornate apex.
On numerous occasions he perched precariously on a single brick and appeared to ready himself to throw himself off, prompting desperate calls from the crowd below not to jump.
The drama began at about 10.40am when the dishevelled man, who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, was spotted on top of the Ulster Bank building on Dame Street, opposite the Bank of Ireland and close to Trinity College.
It is not known how he reached the rooftop of the building but it is thought that he may have scaled scaffolding on a building further down the street and made his way across the rooftops.
For some time, he stood shirtless at the highest point of the building, raising fears that the heat on what was one of the hottest days of the year would weaken him.
Although he also sat for long periods away from the edge of the roof and engaged with garda negotiators, there were anxious moments when he repeatedly stood up suddenly and returned to the apex, sometimes stumbling in his climbing attempts.
Dame St and College Green had to be cordoned off during the incident, which attracted hundreds of onlookers, and there was major traffic disruption, with many buses having to be rerouted.
Four units of the Dublin Fire Brigade and several ambulance crew also remained on standby throughout. The incident ended at 3.15pm when the man was convinced by gardaí to come to safety and he consented to being escorted away from the scene.
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