Well, we have a Mel in our family. Is she a saint? Ummm, can I get back to you?
St Mel’s cathedral in Longford was accidentally destroyed by fire on Christmas Day 2009. It was opened recently after a €30 million refit so when one of Pip’s colleagues offered to show us around, we hopped on the train for a day out. Many thanks to Kathy, Owen and James for their hospitality.
St Mel’s is the seat of the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois and was built in the mid-1800s in a fairly plain but still majestic neo-classical style.
The original church had a number of Harry Clarke stained glass works (a very well-known Dublin artist working mainly in the 1920s, he has come up in earlier blogs) and at least one was able to be restored.
We walked back to Kathy’s place at the end of the afternoon via a park alongside the river Camlin with views just so typically Irish in our eyes – water, vivid greens, always a spire in the distance… A beautiful, enchanting and enchanted land.