Saturday 21 July 2018

Cathedral's new car park too small for tour buses

St Mel’s in Longford
St Mel’s in Longford

Brian McDonald

A new car park built for the country's most visited cathedral cannot accommodate buses.

The refurbished St Mel's Cathedral in Longford is still attracting huge numbers of visitors from across the country and from abroad after it was re-opened last December.

A €30m refurbishment project was finally completed after the devastating fire of 2009 which destroyed the building. The majority was funded by an insurance settlement, while €1m was raised from voluntary contributions.

The car park alone cost in the region of €750,000 - of which €500,000 was contributed by Longford Town Council.

But it has now emerged that the turning space at the car park is unsuitable for buses. This is despite the funding being made available by the local authority on the basis that the refurbished cathedral would attract significant additional visitor traffic.

Acting manager of Longford Municipal District, Michael Nevin, said officials will see if there can be a set-down area where buses can park.

"It is obviously a tight enough corner, but we're going at all the potential options and will come back with a report at our next meeting", Mr Nevin said.

Irish Independent

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