St Mel’s Cathedral is considered to be one of the finest Catholic churches in Ireland. It is dedicated to Saint Mél (d.488) who came to Ireland with Saint Patrick and who was ordained bishop at Ardagh, County Longford. It was designed in a Neo-Classical style by Jospeph B.Keane and it has stained glass designed by the famous Harry Clarke.  On Christmas Day 2009, the cathedral and the 1000-year-old St Mel’s Crozier were gutted by a raging fire that started accidentally in the early hours of the morning. The restoration took nearly 3 years and the cost of the damage to the cathedral was in the region of €30 million. Some of the highlights include the wonderful limestone columns, intricate plasterwork, pipe organ, and liturgical art from a number of contemporary Irish and international artists. The famous Hollywood actor Mel Gibson, whose family came from Longford is believed to have been named after this church!