Demolished illegally, the church that was ‘saved
A CHURCH that had been ‘saved’ from demolition was knocked down anyway early this morning.
At 6am, residents near Croke Park woke to the sound of a bulldozer-type piece of machinery being driven into the front of the church.
The destruction on the quiet Jones’ Road, beside the GAA stadium, comes only a day after workers at the church site were served with notification from the council to stop work.
Residents had reported work at the site to Dublin City Council and gardai over the last two days, but this morning at 6am a machine was driven into the front of the building.
“On Monday, people first started working on that site, residents objected and they contacted the council,” said photographer Jim Berkeley, who was at the scene.
“Yesterday the council served them with notification.
“Last night the cops came down twice and stopped the guy who was working on the digger that you can see inside the building,” he claimed.
Mr Berkeley said he went down to the 120-year-old Methodist church yesterday evening at 10.50pm and at that stage the digger had stopped being used.
“The second piece of equipment arrived this morning at 6 o'clock and went straight through,” he said.
Residents called gardai on hearing the commotion and when they arrived the person who was operating the bulldozer ran away.
The Ireland match against Cyprus will be held at Croke Park this evening and this partial demolition of the church is located at the railway bridge very close to the stadium.
“Well, something might have to be done,” Mr Berkley said.
“The old lady who lives in the house beside it had to move out.”
Dublin City Council confirmed that enforcement was served yesterday to stop the work being carried out at the site.
They were aware of this morning's destruction and the planning department is investigating the incident.
A Garda spokesperson said: “The gardai were called to an incident with a JCB on Jones’ Road this morning. The road has since been closed off as a precaution.”