Blaze destroys church near Croke Park
A BLAZE broke out and partially destroyed a section of a 120-year-old former Methodist church just yards from Croke Park.
Seven units of the fire services battled the fire which tore through the annex of the derelict church on Jones Road, Drumcondra, Dublin.
The fire broke out at around 7pm last night and fire services had the blaze under control in within an hour.
Six houses in the vicinity of the fire, on Robert Place and Jones Road, were evacuated as a precaution.
The fire service prevented the blaze from spreading from the annex to the church itself and to nearby houses.
A primary and secondary search of the building was conducted after the fire was brought under control and no one was found in the building.
Gardai are now investigating all circumstances surrounding in the fire.
The Victorian-era church, and former schoolhouse, dates back to the 1800s and is located beside Croke Park and next to a railway bridge.
Five years ago the front facade and left side of the church was knocked down without planning permission, despite an order from Dublin City Council preventing demolition.
Fine Gael Councillor Ray McAdam said there was uproar in the local community after the church was demolished.
He said this further damage because of the fire means it looks unlikely the decommissioned church will be salvaged.
“This is just a loss, it was a very beautiful building on Jones Road. There’s no excuse for what has happened to the building, in the way it was nearly destroyed several years ago, and now this fire tonight has virtually destroyed it,” he said.
“It’s difficult to see what the city council can do to protect the site now.”