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Dublin: 11°C Monday 23 May 2022

Here is the most popular building in Ireland

St Mel’s Cathedral in Co Longford was chosen by a public vote.

THIS WEEK THE Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has announced the winner of its Public Choice Award.

The winner of the title of Ireland’s favourite building was St Mel’s Cathedral in Co Longford. It has undergone extensive renovation in recent years after being extensively damaged in a fire in 2009.

It has been redesigned to incorporate elements of its original neo-classical design while “developing a liturgical setting fitting of a cathedral for the 21st century”.

st mel's cathedral - 1 Source: Fitzgerald Kavanagh + Partners

The competition has been running for 26 years and this year there were more than 120 entries overall – with these being whittled down to a shortlist of 36 decided by a jury made up of the organisation’s members.

The Cathedral was announced as the winner of the prize on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme yesterday with the RIAI’s President Robin Mandal saying that the building encapsulates what architecture is all about.

When most people think about architecture they think about things that are out of reach, and they sometimes think about glass boxes and all that kind of stuff. But architecture is not about that, architecture is about community and this building really describes that much better than I could in any words.

st mel's cathedral - 2 Source: Fitzgerald Kavanagh + Partners

Included on the shortlist of entries were a variety of other designs from around the country, as well as one in London.

Last year an architect for Cork Council, Giulia Vallone, won the public choice award for a park he designed in the county.

Prizes in all of the other categories were announced yesterday evening at an award ceremony in Dublin City Council’s Civic Offices.

Read: Pictures: A Hollywood producer is building the largest mansion in US history

Also: Could mass produced tiny houses help solve Ireland’s housing crisis?

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