Portarlington is situated on the Laois/Offaly county boundary, 19km from Portlaoise and 27km from Tullamore, 11km from Junction 15 on the M7 motorway and 14km from 14, at Monasterevin. Portarlington is located on the Dublin-Cork rail line and is provided with regular train services to Dublin. The rail line also provides services to Tralee, Limerick, Ennis, Galway and Ballina/Westport. In terms of local government, the town has dual administration; approximately 75% of the urban area is in County Laois and the remaining 25% is located in County Offaly. The County Boundary is formed by the River Barrow, which flows immediately west of the town centre.

Portarlington is arranged around a long linear historical core which runs west to east from Patrick Street, through Market Square, to Main Street. Main Street is a relatively narrow street, fronted by a variety of two and three-storey buildings which maintain a continuous building line. A significant number of the buildings along Main Street are Protected Structures, a number of which date back to the mid-eighteenth century and which together contribute to the creation of a pleasant and varied streetscape. Market Square, at the northern end of Main Street, provides a focal point within the town centre. Market House, a protected structure in the centre of the Square and which dates to the mid-eighteenth century, remains in active commercial use. Main Street operates as a one-way street for traffic, with a relief road (R420) skirting the eastern edge of the town providing the principal route for traffic through the town.

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Overall population base


Local labour force


Labour force 30 mins


Labour force 60 mins



There are a number of primary and secondary schools in Portarlington. Laois Third Level Centre is also located in Portarlington and provides further education facilities, in the form of undergraduate and postgraduate courses to adults and continuing education students.

Primary School M F Total
Presentation Primary School (Co. Laois) 159 582 741
Scoil Náisiúnta Cúil An Tsúdaire (Co. Laois) 49 51 100
Scoil Phadraig (Co. Offaly) 441  0 441
Secondary School M F Total
Coláiste Iosagáin (Co. Offaly) 488 481 969


Portarlington is the focus of a number of Regional Roads, with the R423 Portarlington-Mountrath Road converging on the town and the R419 The Heath-Rathangan Road and the R420 Moate-Monasterevin Road routeing through the town. These Regional Road routes provide the town with a high degree of regional connectivity. Junctions 14 and 15 on the M7 Motorway are also located 11km and 14km respectively from Portarlington, providing access to both the M7 Dublin-Limerick Motorway and the M8 Dublin-Cork Motorway. Portarlington Train Station is located on the Dublin-Cork rail line, which provides regular daily services to Cork, Killarney and Limerick to the south and Dublin to the north. Portarlington benefits from high frequency commuter trains to and from Dublin, during morning and evening peaks. Portarlington station is also a connection point for the Dublin-Galway and Dublin-Westport rail lines, which also provide regular daily services to and from Dublin. Portarlington is provided with private bus services to Dublin, which provides morning and evening services for commuters.

Local Amenities

Portarlington is provided with a wide range of amenities, including a large leisure centre facility and People’s Park on the eastern edge of the town, playing pitches including Portarlington and Gracefield GAA clubs and Portarlington Rugby Club, tennis facilities, Portarlington Golf Club and there are a number of walking routes along the River Barrow. Emo Court, Ireland’s second largest park, is 10km south of the town and provides a significant recreational amenity for the area.

Population Base

Portarlington has a total population of 8,368 with a labour force of 3,798 locally and 64,980 within a 30 minute drive (CSO, 2016). The population has grown significantly in recent years, by 39% since 2006. The town benefits from a relatively young population, with 34% of total population aged 19 years or younger, compared to 28% nationally. Furthermore, the proportion of the population aged 34 years or younger, 53%, exceeds the national proportion of 47%.


Portarlington benefits from the provision of fibre broadband, with a number of fibre cabinets located within the town and providing reliable broadband speeds. The town will also benefit from further improvements in broadband speeds, as part of Eir’s rollout of improved broadband services throughout the country.

Planning Context

Portarlington is designated as a ‘Key Service Town’ within both the Laois County Development Plan 2017 – 2023 and the Regional Planning Guidelines for the Midland Region 2010 – 2022. The town functions as a support to the development of Tullamore and County Town of Portlaoise. It is an important driver in the local economy, providing important economic, administrative and social functions and it has the critical mass to support its own services and industry.

Portarlington is provided with zonings for the provision of additional Residential, Commercial, Enterprise & Employment, Industrial, Community-Educational-Institutional and other sustainable development in the future. The Portarlington Local Area Plan 2012 – 2018 zones lands for development in Portarlington as follows:

Land use Ha
Residential 23
Community-Educational-Institutional 15
Industrial 61
Enterprise & Employment 24
Tourism 2


“Located in the heart of Ireland Portarlington is a great location for any business. Our position in Portarlington has facilitated us in operating our company on a national level. Portarlington is easily accessible by all major routes and this central location affords us the ability to offer products and services to our clients throughout Ireland in an efficient and cost effective manner whether they be placed in Cork, Belfast, Dublin or Galway.”

Brian Somers, Owner, Back up Power Solutions Ltd