Video of Mullingar, County Westmeath, Republic of Ireland
Mullingar (Irish: An Muileann gCearr, meaning "the left-handed mill") is the county
town of County Westmeath in Ireland. The Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act ( Henry
VIII 34 ) of 1542, proclaimed Westmeath (which then included Longford which separated
in 1586) a county, separating it from Meath. Mullingar became the administrative
centre for County Westmeath. The town was originally named Maelblatha, and takes
its modern name from a mill noted in the legend of Colman of Mullingar
Mullingar's main tourist attractions are its lakes – Lough Owel, Lough Lene and Lough
Ennell - which are popular with anglers – and Belvedere House and Gardens which is
heavily promoted for its beauty. The town has several hotels - including the Greville
Arms Hotel, Annebrook House Hotel, Bloomfield House Hotel, Newbury Hotel and the
4 star Mullingar Park Hotel which houses a conference centre.
The town is also associated with Irish author James Joyce, who was an occasional
visitor to Mullingar during his youth. Joyce's father, John, was a civil servant
posted from Dublin to compile an electoral register of Mullingar and the surrounding
townlands. He often stayed in the Greville Arms Hotel. James referred to Mullingar
in three of his novels, mentioning it twelve times in Ulysses, in chapter 14 of Stephen
Hero, and three times in Finnegans Wake.
Mullingar's most notable building is the cathedral of Christ the King Mullingar,
the cathedral of the Diocese of Meath. The Cathedral was dedicated on the day World
War II broke out.
Columb Barracks was a major military base in the county housing the 4th Field Artillery
Regiment and the HQ of the 54 Reserve Field Artillery Regiment (Army Reserve) formally
the FCA (9 FAR).Because of a Government Decision Columb Barracks is to be closed
on the 30th March 2012 and the 4FAR is to be moved to Custume Barracks Athlone and
the location of the 54 Reserve Artillery Regiments HQ Battery and No 3 Gun Battery
is unclear.This is the last Artillery Barracks in the Republic of Ireland and the
largest barracks in the Irish Midlands.
Mullingar's commercial sector has expanded in recent years from just a few shops
on the town's main thoroughfares – Oliver Plunkett Street, Austin Friars Street,
and Mount Street – to several major shopping areas. There is an out-of-town retail
park at Lakepoint (about 1.6 km from the town centre), the Harbour Place shopping
centre near the town centre and a new development at the Green - on the site of the
former Avonmore and Pennys units.