Mullingar (An Muileann gCearr – ‘The Lefthandwise Mill”) (pop. 21,000) is a prosperous town, vying with Athlone as the largest in the Midlands. Long known for its army barracks and cattle market, it is nowadays a major regional centre for engineering / high-tech companies, retail outlets and a wide range of services.
The town is situated on the River Brosna, partly encircled by the Royal Canal and close to Lough Ennell, Lough Owel, Lough Derravaragh and Lough Lene. The surrounding countryside is green and lush, ideal for cattle rearing.
It is probably best known in Ireland for its bachelors and the charming expression commonly used to refer to large women: “beef to the ankle, like a Mullingar heifer“. While it is probably unfair, or at least out of date, to call Mullingar “a smug provincial dullsville“, the town cannot really be described as very exciting. However, it does have good leisure amenities and accommodation, eating and drinking facilities. Continue reading Mullingar and Environs (Co. Westmeath)
Limerick City (Luimnach) (pop. 94,000), occupying a northeastern protrusion of County Limerick and extending into southwestern County Clare, just above the head of the River Shannon Estuary (Loch Luimneach), has long suffered a terrible reputation but, the city has a colourful history, and there are plenty of interesting landmarks and places to visit, both in the city centre and its outskirts, along with a good range of acommodation options etc. (Above photo – )
Continue reading Limerick City and Environs
Athlone (Baile Átha Luain) (pop.21,000) straddles the River Shannon just south of Lough Ree and close to the geographical centre of Ireland. Long an important garrison town, it nowadays likes to be regarded as “the commercial capital of the midlands”, and is also a major regional centre for a a range of state and semi-state organisations and services.
Athlone’s best feature, the River Shannon itself, is still plied by working vessels and pleasure craft, from barges to sailing dinghies; river cruisers can be hired at a centrally located 87-berth marina. The river last flooded seriously in November 2009. (above image wikipedia) Continue reading Athlone and Environs