Repairs urgently needed on Enniskillen cathedral roof

Dean Kenneth Hall pictured outside St Macartin’s Cathedral where major repair work is to be carried out on the roof.

Substantial repairs are to be carried out to repair the roof of one of Enniskillen’s landmark buildings, St Macartin’s Cathedral. 
A woodworm infestation has been uncovered in the roof of the Grade A listed building while falling slates and fears of resulting serious injury have prompted the planned repairs.
Sam Morrow from the cathedral’s Select Vestry says the roof has been giving rise to problems in recent years. 
He said: “There is the very obvious damage to the plasterwork in the south west corner of the nave, which has been caused by ingress of rain water. 
“Slates are constantly falling off which may allow rain water to enter the roof space.
“In stormy conditions, the slates can be seen moving on the roof. A preliminary survey has been carried out which has confirmed our worst fears. 
“A recent investigation has indicated a woodworm infestation which may require the replacement of some of the roof timbers.” 
The last major expenditure on the cathedral roof was in 1960 when a re-roofing project was undertaken but now after 57 years, vital works are once again required. 
Sam says it is difficult to estimate the cost of the work at this stage other than to say that it will be substantial and involve elaborate scaffolding. 
“Slates will have to be removed and stored carefully, damaged timber will need replaced, other timbers will require treatment and insulation will need to be upgraded. 
“Slates will then have to be replaced using durable nails. The opportunity will also be taken to replace damaged stonework and faulty gutters, downpipes and lead valleys. It is most likely that internal redecoration of the cathedral will be required when the roof project is complete.”
While the possibility of obtaining grant aid or other financial support will be explored fully, a major effort will be required to raise the necessary funds. 
“In the meantime, we can be sure that substantial financial support from parishioners will be needed to enable the essential work on the cathedral roof to be carried out,” Sam added. 

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