Market House should become a museum - Illingworth

Market House should be used as a town museum or cultural centre after the town council is abolished next month.

That’s the view of Cllr Ruth Illingworth, who said the landmark building had had an important public function during its 140-year history.

It is currently used by Mullingar Town Council for meetings and civic functions, and also houses the Mullingar Tourist Office. However it is not fully wheelchair accessible at present.

“It has been an art gallery, a museum, and the practice place for the town band. I see it as the people’s building... I hope when the county council take control of the building they will see a way to use it for the public good. There was a fantastic museum in the barracks, and Market House could be used as a museum with some permanent and rolling exhibits,” said Cllr Illingworth.

“It is a beautiful building at the heart of the county town of Westmeath, and one hopes it is not left empty for too long.”

Mayor Pat Collins said it would be “a very sad day” when the council vacates the building.

“I hope the new members will be very proactive in making extensive use of the building. Come June, the only tenants will be the tourist office. We took the decision a number of years ago to upgrade the building, and I would hate to see the door being locked.”

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