Business Irish

Friday 19 January 2018

100 jobs on way as Longford cathedral restoration goes ahead

Thomas Lyons

UP to 100 construction jobs are to be created as part of work to refurbish St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford.

Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Colm O'Reilly this morning signed contract documents for the rebuilding of the cathedral, one of the Midlands’ most distinguished buildings.

Bishop O’Reilly said: “When Saint Mel’s Cathedral experienced a catastrophic fire on the night of Christmas Eve/Christmas morning 2009, I immediately made a public commitment that our beloved cathedral would be restored.

“Much time has been invested since then in order to ensure that our planning and preparation process befits this enormous structural project.

“Thanks to all the work which has taken place on the planning phase of the restoration, the rebuilding phase has now begun, thank God. I thank everyone for their patience and understanding since the terrible fire, and, at this time, I seek your continued prayers and support as we undertake the rebuilding works to restore Saint Mel’s Cathedral for the benefit of the faithful, and for our country.”

A consortium of firms from Galway and Longford has been awarded the contract.

The cathedral will undergo extensive repairs including the replacement of 26 limestone columns and pilasters, repairing external stonework around windows and replacing internal plaster up to ceiling level.

Bishop Reilly says it is the most significant cathedral restoration project in Western Europe and will include a new building training project for trainee stonemasons.

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