Up to 150 people will be employed on the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford, which was destroyed by fire at Christmas in 2009.
Kevin Faye, from construction firm GEM Purcell, said that the restoration would involve extensive design and require meticulous restoration skills.
It was envisaged that up to 150 people will be employed at the height of the project.
The jobs will be created in direct labour and sub-contracts.
Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Colm O’Reilly said today was the most crucial day since the fire that devastated St Mel’s Cathedral on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2009.
He said the project will also include a new building training project for trainee stonemasons.
Seamus Butler, chairman of the restoration committee, said the project would be the most significant restoration project in Western Europe this year.