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Portumna Heritage Town
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Portumna is a picturesque heritage town in the south-east of Co Galway, just west of where the River Shannon enters Lough Derg. 

Portumna is a picturesque market town located in the south-east of Co Galway, on the border with Co Tipperary. The town is located to the west of the point where the River Shannon enters Lough Derg. This has been the historic crossing point over the River Shannon for centuries and so boasts a long history of bridges and marine navigation.

The wealth of history in Portumna extends beyond the lough and river. The town is home to the Irish Workhouse Centre, a regional heritage and arts centre dedicated to telling the story of the workhouse system and famine era. The town is also home to Portumna Castle, an early seventeenth century semi-fortified house; and to Portumna Priory, a thirteenth century Cistercian chapel taken over by the Dominicans c 200 years later.

Today, Portumna is a tourist destination for boaters, golfers, and anglers. It boasts excellent shops, bars, restaurants and cafes, as well as a wealth of excellent accommodation. Famous for its hurlers, and the ever-growing Shorelines Arts Festival, the town remains a vibrant and friendly community centre.

Being at the junction of the River Shannon and Lough Derg, means that there are a number of harbours – two of which are on the Portumna side of the river – from which to explore the town and the wider region.

Highlights include:
  • The Irish Workhouse Arts & Heritage Centre, with guided tours
  • Portumna Castle & Portumna Dominican Priory
  • Portumna Forest Park
  • Lough Derg & the River Shannon
  • Pallas Karting and Pallas Paintball
  • Regular festivals and special events (e.g. ‘Shorelines’).

Visitor Information

Irish Workhouse Centre Open March to October

Open 7 days a week, between March 1 and October 31 from 09:30, with last tour at 17:00

Advance booking is required for groups of 10 or more. School tours are tailored to suit age of students.

Contact Details

Irish Workhouse Centre – Portumna
St Brigids Road, Portumna
Co Galway

T: +353 (0)90 975 9200

Closed: The Irish Workshouse Centre is closed November 1 - February 28.

Approx. visit duration: An overnight in Portmna is recommended to experience it and its surrounds.  


Irish Workhouse Admission Prices 2017

Adult: €7.00
Senior (aged 65+): €5.00
Student (with valid ID): €5.00
Child (aged 7-17): €3.00
Toddler (aged 0-6): Free
Family (2 adults & 2 children): €15.00

Other Useful Information

Information leaflets available in English. Pre-booked tours can be provided in Irish, English and German

Portumna has numerous cafés and restaurants with a range of dining options – these include traditional Irish food, European influence and eastern cuisine.

Picnic tables and areas are available at both the playground and at Portumna Forest Park.

There are several gift and craft shopping options in Portumna and surrounds. 

Free car and coach parking available throughout the town and at the Irish Workhouse Centre.

Group rates available for Irish Workhouse Centre. Pre-booking required.  

Faclities and activities for children include children's playground, Portumna Forest Park, Lough Derg, Pallas Karting, Slieve Aughty Riding Centre, Tearaways Pet Farm and Activity Centre.

Portumna has wonderful forest walks, with views of Lough Derg. The Galway East Wayfinding Guides contain architectural walking tours and feature narration by charismatic historian Dr. Peter Harbison, an introduction to the area, beautifully illustrated maps, detailed walking routes with information on all the sites, listings for other interests in each area.

The Hymany Way: This is one of a series of 11 sections of the greater Beara Breifne Way. It goes in a northerly direction on the western side of the Shannon, tracing the epic march of O’Sullivan Bere from the Beara peninsula in January 1603.

The Galway East Ecclesiastical Trail is made up of two separate driving routes which between them cover the entire East County Galway, and take in 21 of the regions oldest, best preserved and most famous religious sites. The second route is a 100 mile (160km) circuit that takes in the towns of Portumna, Loughrea and Ballinasloe

Most accommodations will have free Wi-Fi, which is also available at the Irish Workhouse Centre and Portumna Tourist Office.

Map Location

From Galway: Take the M6 for Dublin, then leave the motorway at exit 16 onto the N65. At Fairfield Roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on N65, turning right after 3km.

From Dublin: Take the M6 to Galway, then leave the motorway at exit 15 and at the roundabout, take the first exit onto R355.

From Shannon: Take the N18 south bound toward Limerick, merge onto E20/M7 and at junction 26, take the N52 exit to Tullamore/Borrisokane/Nenagh. Stay on N52 to Borrisokane, taking the N65 to Portumna. 

 Portumna Heritage Town    Nearby Attractions

Group Enquiry?

If you have a group enquiry for 10 or more people, you can contact us here.