The History of Austin Friars Area by local historian Ruth Illingworth
The Austin Friar Hotel is located in one of the oldest and most historic areas of Mullingar. In 1227, Bishop Ralph Petit of Meath founded a monastery in Mullingar for Canons Regular of the Order of Saint Augustine. Known as Domus Dei, the House of God, the monastery was situated along the eastern bank of the River Brosna around where the Austin Friars Hotel now stands. The monastery was in existence for just over 300 years and marked the eastern boundary of the medieval town. The monastery was closed in November 1539, at the time of the Reformation and the monastic buildings were demolished soon afterwards.
In the 18th century, a small military barracks for cavalry was located where the hotel and Supervalu store now stand.
When the Austin Friars Hotel was being built in 1996, the monastic cemetery was uncovered and thirty five skeletons were found – some dating back to the 13th century.
The statue outside the hotel, depicting two Augustinian Monks, was placed there in 2000, to honour the contribution of the monastery to the life of Mullingar.