Mullingar is the county town of County Westmeath in Ireland. It is the 3rd most populous town in the midlands region with a population of 20,928 in the 2016 census.
The Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act (Henry VIII 34) of 1543, 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.
Traditionally a market town serving the large agricultural hinterland, Mullingar remains a significant commercial location. It had a tradition of cattle-trading until 2003, when its cattle market was closed for development of a mixed commercial and residential scheme called Market Point. However, in 2014 the local County Council have allowed an annual Christmas Market to take place on Mount Street.
Mullingar is famous for the neighbouring lakes, Lough Owel, Lough Ennell and Lough Derravaragh, which attract many anglers. Lough Derravaragh is also 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. Another waterway of significance is the Royal Canal, which loops around Mullingar.
Among Mullingar's major exports are items of pewterware produced by Mullingar Pewter. Also associated with Mullingar is Genesis Fine Art, which produces gift items. The "Pilgrims" sculpture on Mullingar's Austin Friars Street, at which location there once stood an Augustinian Friary, was crafted by Genesis on foot of a commission by the Mullingar chapter of Soroptimists International.
Two print newspapers serve the community: the Westmeath Examiner and the Westmeath Topic together with a blog, Mullingar News and Views.