Mallow 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. 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 town.
The earliest form of the name is Magh nAla "plain swan", being Magh = Plain and Ala = Swan which was gradually elided to Mala. In the Anglicisation "Mallow", -ow originally represented a reduced schwa sound, which is now however pronounced as a full vowel /oʊ/ In 1975, Mala was among the first Irish placenames adopted by statute, on the advice of the Placenames branch of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.