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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.

Mullingar Town

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