Cathedral’s rise from the ashes continues apace

Scaffolding represents the last major external work.

The sight of 13 stories of scaffolding around the spire of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford, has raised excitement and anticipation among parishioners eagerly awaiting their church’s re-opening at Christmas.

The scaffolding represents the last major external work to be completed on the five-year project, which is believed to be the one of the largest conservation projects of its kind in Western Europe, following a devastating fire on Christmas Eve in 2009.


“The restoration project is making significant progress,” Fr Tom Healy Adm told The Irish Catholic. “Since Christmas we have had a sense that we are in the fifth year of five-year project so there is a lot of anticipation in the community and we are very hopeful of opening at Christmas.”

Fr Healy said the heavy construction has been completed, such as the roof, floor, and pillars, and the project is now focusing on the interior with carpenters, electricians and plumbers at work, and decisions to be made on colour schemes.


“The scaffolding tower caused a big stir and people are beginning to see the fruits of the labour,” he said. “It’s been a long, hard journey, and the first few years involved a lot of planning for the future, but now the future is here and we have to start planning for the opening to make this a living, breathing church again.”