St. Mels Cathedral, Longford

  • Client: St. Mel’s Cathedral Project Committee
  • Architect: Fitzgerald Kavanagh
  • Value(€ million): 25
  • Completion date: 2014
  • PUNCH services: Civil, Structural
  • Awards: ACEI Design Excellence, Large Structures Project of the Year

The foundation stone for St. Mel’s Cathedral was laid in 1840, completed in c.1890 and was consecrated in 1893. In the early hours of Christmas Day, 2009 fire broke out in the Sacristy of the Cathedral, destroying the interior and roof of the Cathedral, with some damage to the external facing stone.

PUNCH were appointed as civil and structural conservation engineers to help to bring this much loved building back to its former glory.  Our focus has always been to first stabilise the existing, and when safe to do so, restore the structure.  These works include:

  • Stabilisation of existing arch structures
  • Replacement of twenty eight stone columns
  • Replacement of floors throughout the Cathedral
  • Design of replacement roof structure and ceiling structure
  • Design of Altar and Organ structure

Every structural element of the building has required intensive survey, investigation and assessment of its condition.

On Saturday 20 December 2014 Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh & Clonmacnois, reopened the now restored Saint Mel’s Cathedral five years after a devastating fire destroyed the building on Christmas morning 2009.  PUNCH Consulting Engineers are very proud to have been the structural engineers for this major conservation project which has been described as the largest of its kind in Europe.

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