The structural evolution and emplacement of the Eastern Mourne pluton was investigated using anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) measurements (carried out on 112 oriented block samples) and structural data from the host rocks. From these new data cauldron subsidence, as the emplacement mechanism, is disputed and evidence for an alternative, laccolithic style model involving inflation is presented. This includes deflection and uplift of host-rock bedding close to contacts and the magnetic fabric pattern, which has a gentle dome geometry, even close to contacts. The magnetic lineations usually plunge down-dip near the external margins but otherwise have a general SSW–NNE trend that diverges northward. This suggests a northward-directed inflow direction. The model for the emplacement of the Eastern Mourne pluton is a laterally fed laccolith, emplaced south to north. The eastern margin is interpreted as a faulted contact facilitating the inflation of an asymmetrical ‘breached’ laccolith.