Authors: Kevin Fay, BSc (Eng) Dip Eng MIEI, contracts director, Gem Purcell Ltd and Jonathan Macauley, BEng CEng MIStructE MIEI, director, Design ID
On 20 October 2014, the authors discussed the restoration of St Mel’s – one of the largest conservation projects currently under way in Western Europe – at an event jointly hosted by the Heritage Society and Structures and Construction Division, in association with the Institution of Structural Engineers, Republic of Ireland Branch. Click here to view the entire webcast presentation.
The Cathedral Church of St Mel is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, located in the town of Longford. St Mel’s Cathedral was devastated by a fire on the morning of 25 December 2009. By the end of that day, all that was standing was the exterior walls, portico and campanile. The roof had burned through and collapsed into the crypt. After much investigation, a fire in an original brick lined chimney to the rear of the cathedral was established as being the most likely cause of the fire.