Back in April, Trinity’s entrance made headlines as our historic front gates were hit by a car early one morning and badly damaged. Luckily no one was hurt and last week our gates were restored to their former glory.
In classic Trinity-style, the incident was met with irony, with one commenter tweeting: ‘Trinity are taking this rebrand seriously. They’re destroying all history, including the front door. Yikes.’ Within hours social media had rebranded the incident ‘gategate’ and some innovative photo-shop added a crashed car into the front gate on trinity’s logo. Despite the hassle of having one of the main entrances to campus closed, students found the funny side and capitalized upon the humor of the situation.
The gates, historically named the ‘Great Gates’, have been the center of many official occasions; the small gate is opened daily for pedestrian access, however fully opening the gate is symbolic of ceremonial occasions and an indication of reverence to visiting heads of state. This reverence was extended to Michael D. Higgins (the President of Ireland) when he came to visit the college last year. During his visit he was also presented with the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse by The College Historical Society (the oldest undergraduate student society in the world).
Specialist heritage building contractors have worked on restoring the gates, attempting to recreate as closely as possible the original construction. Now installed and ‘French Glossed’ all the gates will need is a few thousand students and visitors to pass through and they will blend back into Trinity’s architectural landscape once more.
Students and visitors will again be able to enjoy the impressive alignment of the Great Gates framing the campanile as they enter campus. Another story has added itself to the history of Trinity, and luckily our iconic entrance is back (looking better than ever!)