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Irish: An Muileann gCearr
Christ le Roi Mullingar.JPG
The Cathedral of Christ the King
Grid reference: N425523
Location: 53°31’21"N, 7°20’16"W
Population: 20,928  (2016)
Post town: Mullingar
Postcode: N91
Local Government

Mullingar is the county town of Westmeath. In 1542, the Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act (34 Henry VIII c.1), proclaimed Westmeath (including Longford which separated in 1586) a county of itself separated from Meath, and Mullingar became the centre for the new county.

The town's name is from the Irish An Muileann gCearr, meaning "left-handed mill". It was originally named Maelblatha, and takes its modern name from a mill noted in the legend of Colman of Mullingar.[1]

The town had a tradition of cattle-trading up until 2003, when its cattle market was closed for development of a mixed commercial and residential scheme called the Market Point. Mullingar is famous for the neighbouring lakes, Lough Owel, Lough Ennell and Lough Derravaragh which attract many anglers. Lough Derravaragh is best known for its connection with the Irish legend of the Children of Lir. The town of Mullingar is linked to Lough Ennell via Lacy's Canal and the River Brosna.

One of Mullingar's major exports are items of pewterware[2] produced by the firm of Mullingar Pewter located near the town. Genesis fine art is also produced locally and sold worldwide – one of its sculptures of the "Pilgrims" dominates the dispensary house at Austin Friars St where once there was an Augustinian Friary.


  • Newspapers
    • The Westmeath Topic
    • The Mullingar Advertiser
    • The Westmeath Examiner

In popular culture

The song "The Rocky Road to Dublin" by The Dubliners mentions Millingar; this was one the few songs in the 2009 film, Sherlock Holmes that was not composed for the film.[3]

The town is also associated with 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,[4] in chapter 14 of Stephen Hero,[5] and three times in Finnegans Wake. Mullingar appears in Ulysses in the Calypso episode; in Lotus Eaters; twice in Hades; in Lestrygonians; in Nausicaa; twice in Oxen of the Sun; in Circe; in Eumaeus; and twice in Ithaca. The town is also mentioned three times in Finnegans Wake, in Books 1 and 2.

Places of interest

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.

Mullingar's most notable building is the cathedral of Christ the King Mullingar, the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meath. The Cathedral was dedicated on the day Second World War broke out.

Closed in 2012, 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), and from 1940 to 1995, the 4th Field Supply & Transport Company until the unit was disbanded. Prior to World War I Wellington (Columb) Barracks was the second largest recruiting barracks in the United Kingdom.


Greyhound Track, Lynn
  • Athletics: Mullingar Harriers
  • Australian Rules football: The Midland Tigers
  • Basketball:
    • The Mullingar Monarchs, formed in 2001
    • The Mullingar Dragons, formed in 2007
  • Cricket: Mullingar Cricket Club
  • Cycling: Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar
  • Football:
    • Mullingar Athletic
    • Mullingar Town
    • Hibernian Celtic AFC
  • Gaelic games:
  • Golf: Mullingar Golf Club
  • Greyhound racing: The Lynn Greyhound track
  • Hockey: Mullingar Hockey Club
  • Horses: Mullingar Equestrian Centre, one of Ireland's international riding centres
  • Rugby: Mullingar Rugby Football Club
  • Swimming: The Mullingar Jets Swimming Club, based in the town swimming pool in Mullingar Town Park
  • Tennis and badminton: The Mullingar Tennis and Badminton Club

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Mullingar)


  1. From: Betha Colmáin Maic Lúacháin, or, The Life of Colmán son of Lúachan Life of Colman of Lynn
  2. Mullingar Pewter, Gifts of a Lifetime
  3. Sherlock Holmes Soundtrack Is Anything But Elementary
  4. Searchable online text of Ulysses,, Retrieved 2010-08-03.
  5. James Joyce's Stephen Hero,, Retrieved 2010-08-09.