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Saint Mel's cathedral restoration creates 100 jobs

The cathedral was damaged in a fire in 2009, but restoration has now begun in earnest on it, Bishop Colm O’Reilly has said. The work is expected to take 14 months.

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THE RESTORATION OF St Mel’s Cathedral will create over 100 construction jobs in Longford, while also benefiting two training programmes.

The announcement was made today by Bishop Colm O’Reilly, who said:

When Saint Mel’s Cathedral experienced a catastrophic fire on the night of Christmas Eve/Christmas morning 2009, I immediately made a public commitment that our beloved cathedral would be restored.

The rebuilding phase has now begun on the cathedral. Working behind the scenes on planning the restoration are the Saint Mel’s Cathedral project committee, diocesan art and architecture committee and the design team from Dublin-based architects Fitzgerald Kavanagh & Partners.

Jobs

Over 100 construction jobs will be created directly and in sub contract jobs over a 14 month period during the restoration. The contractors Gempurcell Ltd have undertaken to ensure that at least 20 per cent of their labour force is recruited in Co Longford for the duration of the contract. Practically all labour used to date has been from the Longford County and surrounding area, said the Bishop.

So far, around 10 local contractors have worked on the project, a number that is expected to rise. The main stone contractor is Cregg Stone, based in Ballinasloe, which will also be employing local labour where possible.

Plasterer George O’Malley has given a commitment to where possible employ local labour and use local suppliers.

Training

Saint Mel’s Cathedral Project Committee have arranged for two training programmes to be run by Camlin Community Training Ltd in conjunction with the restoration project: a traditional skills upskilling (for 60 people) and a pre-apprentice programme (for up to 20 trainees).

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