St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford voted Ireland’s favourite building

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

St Mel's Cathedral in Longford has been chosen as Ireland's favourite building. Photo by: Donal Murphy
St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford has been chosen as Ireland’s favourite building.

St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford has been chosen as Ireland’s favourite building.

The €30m restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral was among 36 projects shortlisted for the RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) Irish Architecture public choice award.

Now in its 8th year, the popular Public Choice Award gives the public the chance to have their say by voting for their favourite shortlisted project, which has the honour of being named Ireland’s favourite building 2015.

A private house in north County Dublin finished as runner-up in the public vote, and coming in third was the controversial Dun Laoghaire library building.

Bishop Francis Duffy, Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois was delighted that St Mel’s Cathedral won the vote, the result of which was announced live this morning on the Morning Ireland programme on RTE Radio One.

Commenting on the restoration project, Bishop Duffy remarked, “Wonderful skill, artistic works and attention to detail have restored the building following the catastrophic fire of 2009. St Mel’s Cathedral is a nineteenth century structure with a twenty-first century interior that is respectful to the original and revitalized by the modern.”

More than 100,000 people have visited St Mel’s Cathedral since it re-opened last Christmas.

The RIAI Public Choice Award and other category winners (which have yet to be announced) will be presented at an awards ceremony this evening, Thursday, June 18 in the Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices.

St Mel’s Cathedral is becoming accustomed to awards and the RIAI Public Choice accolade is the fourth since it re-opened.

At the recent Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in Ireland, Construction Manager of the Year Awards on Friday, June 5 in Dublin’s Conrad Hotel, Ronan Moore Gem/Purcell Construction Manager, received the top award for his management of the restoration and rebuild of the iconic St Mel’s Cathedral.

Two prestigious awards were also captured at the CMG Irish Building and Design Awards on April 24, with the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral, under Fitzgerald, Kavanagh & Partners named as Interior Architectural Project of the Year.

The Cathedral also saw off competition from projects including the Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin and the Tullamore Distillery, to top yet another public vote and claim the title of Ireland’s Building Project of the Year.