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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020
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Church blaze left interior 'gutted', repairs could take years

The fire at St Catherine’s in Dublin was so fierce it blew out the windows, the parish priest has said after assessing the damage.

Local residents outside the church, the day after the blaze
Local residents outside the church, the day after the blaze
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE FIRE THAT erupted at a Dublin church on Monday left much of the interior completely gutted, the parish priest has said.

Fr Niall Coghlan said St Catherine’s on Meath Street suffered extensive damage in the blaze, which required several Dublin Fire Brigade units to bring it under control.

“The organ has been completely incinerated,” he said. “The fire just went from one end of the church to the other. It blew out the windows. We haven’t got to looking at the roof yet.”

He said the church would be closed for a long period as repairs were made. “It could be months, it could be a year, it could be two years. The experts are still in there looking at it.”

A man was arrested at the scene of the fire, and appeared in court on Tuesday. The Irish Independent reports that Patrick Curry, aged 48, has been charged with arson over the incident.

Fr Coghlan said there was a strange pattern of damage in the 19th-century church. “Higher up it’s completely gutted,” he said. “But when you come to ground level the seats are in perfect condition, and the altar is in perfect condition.”

He said that parish authorities were not yet clear whether the repairs would be covered by their insurance, and it was too early to say how costs would be met. No fundraising was being carried out in the community, and nobody had been authorised to raise funds on the church’s behalf, he added.

More: Fire at historic church in Dublin city centre>

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Michael Freeman

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