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Work starts on fire-hit church

Work to meticulously restore a historic cathedral completely gutted in a Christmas Day blaze has begun.

Up to 150 jobs will be created during the 14 months it will take to rebuild Saint Mel's Cathedral in Longford.

It is hoped the cathedral will reopen five years to the day of the inferno and celebrate Christmas Mass in 2014.

Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Colm O'Reilly said the signing of contracts for work to begin was a milestone.

The blaze, which started in a boiler flue, tore through the building just a few hours after midnight Mass.

Hilton's beau

in club scuffle

The model boyfriend of celebrity socialite Paris Hilton was charged after a scuffle with another man at a Las Vegas Strip nightclub.

River Viiperi (21) was ticketed for misdemeanour battery and released after police were called to the Wynn Las Vegas resort.

Police said a man complained that Viiperi hit him during an argument. No serious injuries resulted.

Kate's grief for

cancer victim

KATE MIDDLETON has been left saddened by the death of a teenage cancer patient she met on her recent tour of Malaysia.

Zakwan Anuar (15) who had leukaemia, postponed a badly-needed blood transfusion for 24 hours and put himself through extra pain so he would not miss the royal visit.

The duchess's trip with husband Prince William to the Kuala Lumpur hospice where the schoolboy was receiving care brought a rare smile to the face of the teenager.

Lennon's art

to go on show

Fans can see another artistic side of John Lennon in New York City this week.

An exhibition in SoHo, called The Artwork of John Lennon, will feature 100 drawings and sketches by the late Beatle.

The week-long show marks what would have been Lennon's 72nd birthday. The works cover the years 1964 to 1980, the year Lennon was fatally shot outside his Manhattan home.

Donations from visitors will benefit a meals on wheels scheme.