Sign of improving times as four major projects get under way in mullingar

A number of significant construction projects have got under way in Mullingar recently – one of them marking the first ever development at the long-empty IDA Business Park at Marlinstown.

The project that has begun at Marlinstown is construction of a new facility for Patterson Pumps, which set out two years ago to get permission to build a purpose-built production/manufacturing unit in order to bring in new product lines, enabling it to expand and enter additional markets in Europe.

Patterson Pumps, the Irish arm of a US-owned company, currently operates from a 25,000 sq ft premises at Mullingar Business Park.

It was granted permission by Westmeath County Council in February for a production/manufacturing building and a single storey administration building containing office, staff amenity and changing facilities.

At the other end of the town, at Grange, just beyond Patrick Street, crews have begun work on what is to be Mullingar’s second Lidl store, which is going on the site on which the old Horizon ballroom – which played host in the past to music giants such as Thin Lizzy, Johnny Cash and Jim Reeves – was located.

Just up the road from it, a major extension is being built at Newbrook Nursing Home, and on Monday September 1 work started on the Athlone Mullingar cycleway.



The Newbrook extension, which is due to be completed around mid-November, is to provide 12 additional residential rooms, and it links in to Newbrook One, the original building.

Director of nursing at Newbrook, Denise Hilton, said that there is an increasing demand for places at Newbrook. “People like to be around the town area, and it’s handy here for families: they’re able to visit easily.”

All the new rooms will have their own en-suite bathrooms and will be state of the art. It is likely, Ms Hilton said, that additional staff will be engaged to help cater for the increased number of residents.



The initial work on the cycle path, which is to form part of a national Dublin Galway route – involves the removal of vegetation on the 40 kilometre route, following which the tarred cycleway surface will be installed, Deputy Nicky McFadden revealed last week.

“Last May, the government allocated €4m to develop this cycle route, which will be of major benefit to Athlone and Mullingar and the areas in between,” she stated, going on to explain that the project is part of a planned national cycleway from Dublin to Galway and currently, this Athlone Mullingar section is the longest stretch of cycleway being developed in the country.



The Horizon ballroom went out of use in the 1980s, and was demolished in 2007, and in May of this year, the German supermarket chain, Lidl, received permission from An Bord Pleanála to build a supermarket on the site.

The firm’s application was for a single-storey mono-pitch roofed discount foodstore with ancillary off-licence sales, and for provision of a 79-vehicle car park.

The refusal by Westmeath County Council last year was on the grounds that if permitted, the development would become a retailing destination in its own right, and would thus undermine the vitality and viability of Mullingar town centre.

The inspector from An Bord Pleanála ruled, however, that subject to compliance with certain stated conditions, the development would be appropriate at Grange, and that it would not seriously injure the amenities of the area, or of property in the vicinity.

Among the conditions subject to which the permission was granted are that improved acoustic screening be provided, and revised signage proposals, and that soft landscaping be completed prior to opening of the development.

Other conditions relate to finishes, cabling, construction traffic parking, construction period noise levels, and to construction hours, as well as to water supply and drainage arrangements.

The inspector also laid down as a condition that prior to work starting, the developer submit a revised layout drawing showing a dedicated pedestrian crossing to serve Grange and Woodlands customers.