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Once known as the Manchester of Ireland, Mountmellick is a town of fine buildings and the home of a uniquely Irish textile art, Mountmellick Embroidery.

The foundation of the town was laid by members of the Society of Friends, also known as Quakers. Weaving became one of the town’s major industries and by the mid- 1700s, Mountmellick was a leading centre of textile production in Ireland.

Mountmellick Work, a white-on-white embroidery technique, was invented in the early 1800s by Johanna Carter. Wanting to give Irish women a way to earn money, she set up a small school in Mountmellick to train them in this craft. Mountmellick Embroidery Museum in the town displays examples of Mountmellick Work and the stories of the women who excelled in this craft.

Today Mountmellick is a vibrant town and an excellent location to research Quaker history and also as base for exploring the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains.

The Forum Boutique Hostel is a charming and unique place to stay right in the centre of the town. An idea stop for hikers or cyclists. For something good to eat try the Hare’s Corner or gourmet chocolate from Cocoa Couture.

The local community arts centre, a 450 seater restored art deco cinema, hosts many a play or concert throughout the year. It is also home to the Mountmellick Drama Festival which occurs every March which bring the very best in Irish amateur drama to Mountmellick.

The Balcony Cinema also located in the Community Arts Centre is a 134 seater theatre that hosts weekly cinema screenings. This is a great opportunity to catch a classic movie for €5 in an amazing art deco theatre.

Cocoa Couture Chocolate

31 Patrick Street, Mountmellick, Co. Laois

The Jungle Food Company

The Kitchens, MDA Business Park, Irishtown, Mountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland