The Office of Public Works officially opens the 17th Century Courtyard Range at Portumna Castle

24 July 18

The Office of Public Works (OPW), today welcomed the official opening of the 17th Century Courtyard Range at Portumna Castle, Co. Galway.

This conservation project involved extensive works over a period of more than 3 years and included safeguarding the 17th century roof elements of this Castle Yard building range against damage and structural failure due to water ingress.  The project has resulted in the provision of new tea rooms, reception, visitor facilities and exhibition area at Portumna Castle. 

Frank Shalvey, Head of OPW National Monuments said, “The OPW’s conservation aims for Portumna Castle are to preserve and enhance the significance of the Portumna Castle, Abbey and Gardens complex, its architectural and landscape fabric and the setting of the Castle for future generations; and to improve visitor access to, and the presentation and understanding of, this important visitor site”.

Deputy Seán Canney said, “Portumna Castle has a key role in supporting tourism in the East Galway area.  This is a wonderful site with a huge amount of history and character and this development by the OPW will build on the Castle’s existing strong profile with visitors, adding immensely to the visitor experience.  I am confident that these new facilities will contribute significantly to tourism generation in the area and will support enhanced economic returns for the town of Portumna and surrounding areas”.

Portumna Castle is a landmark of impressive physical presence – on the edge of the town, it has considerable picturesque and emotive qualities. It has a rich and diverse history of events and occupiers and has been central in the story of Ireland from at least the beginning of the 17th century to the early years of the 20th century.  The Castle is a significant architectural monument, representing an important stage in the evolution of Irish architecture during the transitional period of the early 17th century. It retains important architectural features both in stone and in plasterwork.  In the 17th century castle yard east range, a roof structure of this period contains elements which are rare in an Irish context, and which are of national importance.


For further information please contact Ciaran Conroy, OPW Client Services and Communications at 087 947 5552 or

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Notes to Editors:

Photography from the launch will be available from David Ruffles, 086 826 5666 or after the event.

Portumna Castle

Portumna Castle and Demesne occupy a magnificent location on the shores of Lough Derg on the River Shannon. Although gutted by fire in 1826, the Castle is still an imposing example of Irish architecture of the early 17th Century. Built before 1618 by Richard de Burgo, 4th Earl of Clanricarde, the castle became the main seat of the de Burgo family for over 200 years.