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Ireland Gazeteer

County Westmeath in 1839


The Shannon is navigable for steam-boats conveying goods and passengers, or acting as steam-tugs to other vessels, throughout that part which borders on this county.

The Royal Canal, which connects Dublin and the east coast with the upper part of the Shannon at Tarmonbarry, crosses this county from east to north-west, passing near Killucan and Mullingar. A branch from the Grand Canal between Philipstown and Tullamore in King's County, to Kilbeggan, is partly in this county.

The principal roads are those from Dublin to Longford and Athlone respectively.

The Longford road enters this county from that of Meath near Kinnegad, and runs north-west by Mullingar and Rathowen into the county of Longford. A branch from this at Mullingar takes a rather more westerly direction from Ballinacargy to Ballymahon.

The Athlone road branches from that to Longford just after it enters the county at Kinnegad; and runs westward by Rochford Bridge, Tyrrell's Pass, Kilbeggan and Moate, to Athlone.

The road from Dublin to Granard runs through the northern part of the county by Castle Pollard.

The principal traffic is carried on by the canals and by the Athlone road; but the number of passengers is rather the greatest by the Longford and Athlone roads. Many however travel by the Royal Canal to Mullingar, and by the branch of the Grand Canal to Kilbeggan.