Friday, December 25, 2009

Longford Cathedral gutted in fire

Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise Colm O'Reilly has said St Mel's Cathedral in Longford is destroyed.

He said that the building is just a shell and its burned out from end to end.

He said it was a dreadful day for him personally and quite devastating.

Bishop O'Reilly said that construction began on the Cathedral in the 1840 and he described it as a flagship Cathedrals of the midlands.

He said it was an extraordinary achievement at the time.

He said that the building was so central to Longford's history.

He said he celebrated midnight mass last night to a packed Cathedral.

He said that it was an extraordinary contrast this morning.

A garda crime scene investigation unit has arrived at St Mel's cathedral in Longford to begin an investigation into the cause of a fire there this morning.

Christmas day masses are being said at the nearby Temperance Hall.

Several units of the Fire Brigade are fighting the fire.

It is understood to have started just after 5am this morning.

Traffic diversions are in place.

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