Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy has welcomed the go-ahead for refurbishment works at St. Mel’s Cathedral which was destroyed by fire at Christmas 2009.

Deputy Troy said: “This is a major project and it has been eagerly awaited in the community.  The jobs created in the refurbishment work, up to 100, will be extremely important to the local economy. 

“The community spirit and backing for this work since the awful fire almost three years ago has been of huge benefit to the church and parishioners.  I know that for many families St. Mel’s is of huge sentimental significance, my own parents were married in the church over 50 years ago.

“St. Mel’s is an extremely important and historical building for Longford and the country.  People living in the county have great pride in their cathedral. 

“The refurbishment work will be of great benefit to the local economy and local employment.  The project will also add to the local skills base as there will be an element of training new limestone masons.

“I want to commend Bishop Colm O’Reilly for all of the effort he has put into this project since the fire and all of the volunteers who have supported the rebuilding work.”