Artist Shane Turner

WATCH: New Niall Horan mural unveiled as part of #LoveMullingar campaign

A new mural of Mullingar's most famous son Niall Horan was unveiled at the weekend.

The new mural on Dominick Street is part of Mullingar Chamber's #LoveMullingar initiative and was painted by the award winning locally based artist Shane Turner over the Mullingar Wall of Fame montage, which had been defaced with graffiti. The rights for the image were agreed directly with Niall.

Launched last month, the main objectives of the #LoveMullingar campaign, according to the chamber, "are to increase footfall in the town by creating awareness and ensuring a consistent brand for Mullingar as a town".

In a statement released today, the chamber says that “strong branding increases the value of a location, provides direction and motivation, and will contribute to making Mullingar a quality destination in the midlands and throughout Ireland”.

“The new branding represents people's perception of Mullingar, its retail and hospitality services, its reputation and how we advertise and market the town. The popularity of social networks, especially the visually focused Instagram platform, has created a need for Instagrammable spaces to attract visitors and entice them to spend time and money in Mullingar as part of a wider tourism and consumer experience.

“These selfie-worthy spaces inspire visitors to share photos and videos of their experiences, creating invaluable word-of-mouth marketing for Mullingar and also fit in with some established instagrammable images of the town, the most popular being the Joe Dolan statue at Market Square.

“The Mullingar Chamber Retail Team sought to identify areas of the town that would work well with this plan.  The view from many consultation groups was that this was an ideal location which would benefit from an upgrade/enhancement. It was felt that a tribute to Niall Horan, one of Mullingar’s greatest assets, was the unanimous choice for the wall. Mullingar Chamber have further plans to promote Mullingar as the Music Capital across more projects later in the year. The Mural chosen for Dominick’s Street of Niall Horan has a young, fresh feel about it has the #LoveMullingar logo over it,” the chamber said.

David Quirke, Retail Team lead, said: “We have lots more exciting plans over the coming months to enhance our streetscapes and other key features to be developed around Mullingar. All of these plans will help promote Mullingar as a destination to visit, shop and live in. We know that these new installations will be very much photographed, further helping to promote Mullingar and what it has to offer.”

Aisling Coleman, Mullingar Chamber of Commerce, said: “The old wall was obscured with graffiti and certainly needed an update. It is a tribute to Niall Horan, just one of the many great talents Mullingar from Mullingar. We have showcased all of the talents that were previously on the wall, along with so many others, on our Wall on Fame Page on our new website”

Artist Shane Turner told the Westmeath Examiner said that he enjoyed the interaction with local passers-by while he was painting the mural last week.

“It's been a good experience, being in the sunshine and meeting new people. I met a lot of good people to talk to, which was nice,” he said.