John with Lewis Capaldi and Niall Horan.

John looks back at some of the Greville's best known visitors

Joe and Niall

Joe Dolan was a regular customer her in the hotel, and normally did two concerts a year. “He was a pure gentleman to deal with in every way and he had a huge personality. One thing about Joe Dolan, he was open to talk to people, even if he was socialising. He had that way about him.

“The Dolan family are a great family to talk to his fans and still do, to this day. Every day, people come in to the hotel and talk about going to his concerts in the Greville Arms. We are proud of that connection and I am proud to have known Joe Dolan.

“Then you go to the next generation and you have Niall Horan. Niall Horan used to come in here for lunch from school and when he was on the X-Factor at the beginning, he still came in. Still, Niall Horan and his family, his mam, granny and father, come in and talk away to Niall’s fans. People love it and get their photos taken with them.

“Niall is generous. He gave us two Brit awards and we have them on display. Niall came back here during the fleadh in 2022 with Lewis Capaldi and when he came in the door, he said: ‘Ah jaysus John how are you keeping?’ He is still the same Niall Horan that was here 10 years ago, which is brilliant. He is still a lovely guy and down to earth person.

“We are really lucky that we had a superstar in Joe and another superstar now in Niall Horan. We have a guest book in reception that people fill in and you can see signatures from every country in the world.

“They are coming to Mullingar because of Niall Horan. What he does for the town is just colossal. They will come and stay for the night and visit where his father lives. That’s why it’s great that the family are so accessible.”

Páidí Ó Sé

“People describe him as a legend of the game, but the man was more than that. It’s hard to describe. He was such a huge personality and such a powerful person. His stories were unbelievable. He had a gift with people and players to motivate them and get the best of them.

“He put belief into that team. To win a Leinster title with them was fantastic. The memories are just colossal. What he did for Westmeath football is on a different level. The memories of that day they won the Leinster Championship are dream stuff. I am a football fan and being the main sponsors of the team, it was just fantastic. It meant so much to people.”

Páidí Ó Sé.
Joe Schmidt.

Joe Schmidt

“He is amazing. I saw him come in one day when the rugby club were having a function here. He spoke for around half an hour at a function upstairs for about 60 people. Then he came downstairs, where the club were having a fundraiser, and there were about 300 people. He spoke for maybe an hour with no notes and gave a completely different speech to the one he gave upstairs.

“He spoke about his memories of coming to Mullingar for the first time. He named people he knew and his memory of the names of the players he played was brilliant. Between courses, he visited every table at the function and spoke to everybody. He was on a different level.”