Monday, 9 August 2010


I am always fascinated by the difference between small towns in different countries. I travel around Ireland a lot and the little towns that I visit have a distinctive "Irish" feel that makes them totally different to small towns that I visited in the UK, Spain, Poland and elsewhere. Obviously the architecture is different, building materials are different, but I am also fascinated by the types of shops and businesses that I see (and the people that I meet).
Yesterday I was in Mullingar - An Muileann gCearr, or "the left-hand Mill" in Irish. Most Irish placenames were anglicized by our former colonial rulers with the result that the directly translated english version (Mullingar in this case) rarely makes any linguistic sense.
Mullingar is the county town for county Westmeath - the "capital" if you like, and was once the Market town for the surrounding area. It is a typical Irish small town with many thriving shops, pubs and restaurants, a few hotels, a train station and a few shopping centres (plus the ubiquitous Mc Donalds). In recent years Mullingar Pewter has become very popular and is exported worldwide. The Royal Canal passes the outskirts of the town and there are numerous lakes nearby so the area is very popular with anglers (Lough Ennell and Lough Owel are the best known lakes).
Other than that Mullingar is a small town like many others. But I would be thrilled if some of my blogger friends showed small towns from their parts of the world for comparison.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

An interesting post. I hope nothing ever changes the Irish atmosphere of those places.