The main street in Mallow is called Davis St. (although commonly referred to as Main St.), and joins with O'Brien St. outside Mallow Town Hall. Ironically, at the point where Davis St. meets O'Brien St. there is a monument to J.J. Fitzgerald, a little-known local politician who was instrumental in establishing both Mallow Urban District Council and Cork County Council. The monument is often mistaken for O'Brien, even by a number of local people. In fact, it was O'Brien himself who unveiled this monument in the early part of the 20th Century.
Scene: View from railway station
Date: circa 1910
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Read about Mallow below
Mallow (Mala, Magh Ealla, and other variations in Irish) is the 'Crossroads of Munster' and the administrative capital of north County Cork, in Ireland. The Northern Divisional Offices of Cork County Council are located in the town.
Magh Ealla in Irish means 'Plain of the Swans'. The more recent Irish Mala or even Mála are government inspired re-Gaelicisations of 'Mallow' (itself an Anglicization of Magh Eala).
Set deep in the Blackwater Valley, Mallow was traditionally an agricultural market town but due to vast improvements in infrastructure, coupled with significant promotion and investment from the Mallow Town Council and the private sector, the town has become a thriving business and satellite town.
The town was the HQ of the infamous North Cork Militia known as North Cork Rifles. The town's RIC barracks was the only one captured nationwide during the War of Independence. In retaliation, several main street premises were subsequently torched by the British Army (and not the Black and Tans as is sometimes reported).
The urban area has a population of 8,937 (2002 census) and with improved road and rail since the mid '80's, has developed significant student and worker commuter traffic with Cork city.
Mallow developed as a defensive setllement protecting an important ford on the River blackwater. Mallow developed rapidly in the late 16th century as a plantation town. It has prospered throughout the centuries as a market town due to its rich agricultural hinterland. Irish Statesmen such as Thomas Davis and William O'Brien were both born in Mallow in the 19th century. The main street in Mallow is called Davis St. (although commonly referred to as Main St.), and joins with O'Brien St. outside Mallow Town Hall. Ironically, at the point where Davis St. meets O'Brien St. there is a monument to J.J. Fitzgerald, a little-known local politician who was instrumental in establishing both Mallow Urban District Council and Cork County Council. The monument is often mistaken for O'Brien, even by a number of local people. In fact, it was O'Brien himself who unveiled this monument in the early part of the 20th Century.
The town developed a significant industrial base in the early 20th century, based largely on its agricultural capability, with dairy produce and sugar beet supplying the Sugar Factory, Rowntree Macintosh, Bournes and Dairygold. Changes in the European Union sugar subsidy programme resulted in the closure of the Sugar Beet factory in mid 2006, after 75 years continual production.
Transport & communications
Mallow lies at the convergence of several important routes:
National Primary Route 20 (N20) north-south roadbetween Cork (35 km) and Limerick (70 km)
National Primary Route 72 (N72) east-west between Dungarvan (51.5 km) and Killarney (41.5 km)
National Secondary Route 73 (N73) northeast to Mitchelstown (21 km)
The nearest airports are Cork International Airport (42.5 km) and Shannon International Airport (59 km).
Mallow Racecourse, now known as Cork Racecourse became an emergency airfield on April 18, 1983, when a Mexican Gulfstream II business jet made a precautionary landing. A temporary tarmacadam runway of 3,000 ft (910 m) in length was laid to enable the aircraft to leave five weeks later on May 23, 1983. The runway was subsequently utilised for parking during race meets and was a popular facility for learner driving. Light aircraft have occasionally landed at the racecourse on the grass area. The F3A World Model Aircraft Aerobatic Championship was held there in 2001.
A flying club exists at nearby Rathcoole.
The Mallow railway viaduct which straddles the Blackwater, commonly (and still) known as the 'Ten Arch Bridge' was bombed and destroyed during the Irish Civil War. It was rapidly rebuilt in girder form due to its importance in connecting the Cork, Tralee and Dublin lines. An additional line east through Fermoy and Lismore to the Waterford South station closed in 1967.
The local racecourse, now renamed 'Cork Racecourse at Mallow', plays host to large horse racing events.
Mallow Rugby Club is one of the predominant sporting clubs in the area. The club has recently won both League and Cup in 2005/2006 season and attained promotion to Munster Junior League Division Two. In the 2006/2007 season the club have consolidated their position in Division Two and have qualified for the All Ireland Junior Club competition