St Patrick's Day in Mullingar from times past! Who do you know in these old photos?
There might not be a St Patrick's Day parade in Mullingar this year but there's lots on from the Mullingar Half Marathon to the events listed below.
To remind you of the national holiday in years gone by in the town, we have some old photos... scroll down to see who you know!
Lynn Singers to perform on TV
This St Patrick’s Day morning, viewers are in for a real treat when Mullingar’s Lynn Singers perform in honour of our patron saint live from Armagh St Patrick’s Cathedral on RTÉ One.
Led by Dervilla Conlon Maloney, The Lynn Singers will showcase their talent through song, including renditions of May It Be by Enya, and Incantations by Michael McGlynn.
The 20-member choir performed for Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, at a special concert last Saturday.
They joined many choirs from across Ireland, where composer and presenter John Anderson conducted the celebratory and reflective event honouring our patron saint.
Taking place in the magnificent setting of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, choirs from across the island and further afield united in a unique evening of music and spoken word.
This is an exciting mix of words, music and dance, traditional and classical, ancient and modern, the reflective and exuberant, sacred and secular, all combining to make this a very special evening.
The Lynn Singers profile is rising, having won the International Choral Society competition in Armagh last October in the Sacred Music Section.
Tune in to RTÉ One this Sunday at 9.50am for a very special celebration of St Patrick.
St Patrick’s Céilí House’ event
St Patrick may not be having a parade in his honour in Mullingar this year – but there is to be a feast of music, dance, song and poetry at what’s being termed a ‘St Patrick’s Céilí House’ at Caffrey’s bar on Mount Street from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday.
Organised by The Transformative College with the assistance of historian Ruth Illingworth, the afternoon will have various talented performers along, including singer Michaela Hogg and, it is hoped, the Celtic Blondes.
Speaking before the weekend, Ruth said: “At that stage, we will know for definite whether or not the Fleadh is coming to Mullingar, so of course that will add an extra layer of interest.”
The fleadh news is now confirmed, and the ‘St Patrick’s Céilí House’ will be a family-friendly day, and all are welcome.
Mullingar Town Band
This St Patrick's Day Mullingar Town Band will be parading in Tullamore (11.30am), Edenderry (2.30pm), Castlepollard (4.30pm) and Mullingar.
A band spokesperson said: "We hope to finish our day with a short parade through our home town at about 6.30pm or a bit before...as is tradition, and just to say thanks to Mullingar for all of your support to date. We're really hoping for a big parade in Mullingar in 2020!"
A special bank holiday history walk in Mullingar is to focus on the spiritual history of the town, to coincide with it being St Patrick’s weekend.
The talented Mullingar historian Ruth Illingworth is to take participants on a journey that will show sites associated with the different faiths that populated the town – but also a journey that will explain the religious connections that led to the naming of streets such as Dominick Street, Austin Friars Street and Bishopsgate Street.
The walk begins at 3pm on Monday March 18 at The Market House.
“It will take in the Cathedral, All Saints Church, the former Presbyterian Church that is now The Church restaurant, and also, of course, the monastic sites including Blackhall, the Augustinian site at Mill Road – and the Dominicans were also in that end of town near Cusack Park,” said Ruth.
The Dominicans were in Mullingar twice: the Reformation saw their four remaining members depart their 300-year-long base at Blackhall; and in the 1620s they returned, setting up at a second site that was to become one of their most important houses in Ireland.
“Quite a few of them seem to have pursued academic careers,” says Ruth, explaining that many of them spent time in other Dominican houses elsewhere.
One of those who spent time here was the historian the Abbé James MacGeoghegan.
Surprisingly, the Presentation Sisters seem to have been the first nuns to set up in Mullingar.
“There’s no record that I can find of any order of nuns being here any earlier than them,” says Ruth.
Also on the tour is the Methodist meeting house: “It was an important part of the landscape,” says Ruth, adding that congregations could at times have been in the order of 70-80, with TL Hutchinson, of Hutchinson’s drapery store having been one of the better-known adherents.