Thursday, 16 October 2008

Fury as historic church gutted without permit

Gardai and Dublin city Council have both launched separate investigations into an incident that saw a 120-year-old Methodist church partially demolished yesterday without planning permission.

Gardai and Dublin City Council have begun inquiries into the incident at Jones's Road near Croke Park in north Dublin which saw the church virtually destroyed, even though workers at the site were served with an order from Dublin City Council on Tuesday night to cease demolition immediately.

Furious neighbours rang gardai early yesterday morning when they were awoken by the sound of a JCB smashing through the church wall at 6am yesterday, despite being ordered to stop work the previous evening. A worker at the scene was allegedly seen running from the site when approached by gardai.

Officials from the council's Dangerous Buildings Unit will be surveying the damage today to see whether the decommissioned church can be salvaged.

Last night Labour TD Joe Costello said the people responsible for the demolition of the Victorian-era church without planning permission should be made to reconstruct it.

He said area residents are disgusted by the brazen act which has all but ruined the local landmark regarded as "an architectural gem."

The private owners of the land do not have planning permission to demolish the building or develop the land, he said.

Allison Bray
Irish Independent

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