10/06/2011

Songs Of Praise For £4m Cathedral Facelift

A major refurbishment project for an historic Church of Ireland chapel has been warmly welcomed in Londonderry.

Stormont Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness attended a Thanksgiving Service to mark the completion of the restoration work at St Columb's Cathedral in Derry this week.

The NI Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Stormont Junior Minister Martina Anderson were also in attendance.

The Cathedral, which has stood on its present site since 1633, has been undergoing extensive renovation and restoration works with a total project cost of some £4m.

Speaking after the Service, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said: "It is wonderful to see the renovation of this beautiful building - which is one of the oldest and most important buildings in the City - and I congratulate all those who have been involved in the restoration work.

"This building, which is located within the famed city walls, is very much part of the fabric of the city and it is fitting that the Executive has been able to provide some £2m of government funding towards the cost of the project.

"It is another magnificent example of the regeneration work going on in the North West," he said, noting that the Cathedral is a Grade A listed building and is the oldest intact building within the walled city.
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The building has been undergoing major restoration and renovation work for a number of years, initially to the tower and spire and more recently to the pointing and stonework, stained glass, internal decoration and Victorian floor tiles.

The development was also praised by the SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan: "The newly refurbished St Columb's Cathedral really enhances its landmark appeal.

"From my constituency office in Bishop Street I have seen the restoration work going on outside.

"I am now really looking forward to seeing the transformation inside as well," he said, noting that he enjoyed joining the Reverend Dean Morton in celebrating the refurbishment of "this wonderful place of worship - which his congregation, and the many visitors to this city alike, can enjoy".

"Both as MLA and MP I am proud to have actively lobbied for the funding bids for this refurbishment."

The building has been dominating the skyline on all approaches to the City of Londonderry for hundreds of years and has stood on its prominent site inside the famous Walls of Derry since 1633.

The building is dedicated to the name of Saint Columba (Columb) who established a Christian settlement there in the sixth century.

Builders

The main contractor was Woodvale Construction Co with P McColgan in charge of electrical works and Maurice Stevenson looking after mechanical (Heating).

The all-important stonework was by McMonagle Stonemasons while Alpha Glass renewed the stained glass windows.

Mullarkey Pederson Associates (MPA) was the architects, Alwyn Long & Co the quantity surveyors and Cogan & Shackleton was the mechanical & electrical consultant.

(BMcC/GK)

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