Irish Workhouse Museum opens in Portumna, Co. Galway (Development)

Posted: Friday, 24 May 2019

The Irish Workhouse Museum was opened by Minister for State Sean Canney TD on Saturday May 18th at the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna, Co Galway.

Commenting at the launch, the manager Steve Dolan explained "We wanted to create a home for the various items we had unearthed, and a simple plan for a few displays developed into a project to collect and research items that related to the story of workhouses in Ireland".

"In Portumna workhouse alone we have unearthed ceramics, hobnail boots, medicine capsules, pots - big and small, a TB Register, and more. And who knows what we will uncover in the future. " And work is ongoing, as the centre aims to achieve the highest standards - from care of collections to visitor services.

Minister Canney praised the work being done at both the centre, and in Portumna town, with regard to tourism development and he spoke warmly on the community endeavours over recent years. The Minister also praised the work at Portumna Castle and the achievements of Portumna Tidy Towns.

It is expected that this new workhouse museum will greatly assist in telling the story of the Irish workhouse system. The collections work on the museum began last year and it now features artefacts from different eras of workhouse life, and from different workhouses around the country.

The museum's search for artefacts is ongoing. Those with any information or artefacts relating to Irish workshouses are asked to e-mail the centre at

Click here to visit the Irish Workshouse centre's website.