City council officials failed to show up at a public meeting where residents made an impassioned plea for the rebuilding of the semi-demolished Methodist Church on Jones Road. A letter read out to residents informed them that legal issues meant that Dublin City Council (DCC) could not address their fears — yet. However, their absence from Croke Park was accepted “for now” on the grounds that it allowed the potential prosecution of those responsible for knocking down part of the red brick building. More than 1,000 signatures were handed over to councillors at the meeting, demanding for the church to be rebuilt. The church, which dates from 1881, was partly demolished without permission on October 15, after a JBC was driven through one end at six in the morning. The meeting of around 100 residents was informed of a second letter from the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, who confirmed that those responsible for the illegal bulldozing could face criminal prosecution for “vandalism”.