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Golden Gate Park


Gateway to the Midlands

Portlaoise, the county town of County Laois in Ireland, has a rich and varied history. Originally named Maryborough during the Tudor period, its modern name is derived from the Irish 'Port Laoise', meaning "Fort of Laois". The town began as a fort, constructed in the 16th century by the English as a defense against the local Irish clans, particularly the O'Moores.

In 1556, during the reign of Queen Mary I, the town was established and named Maryborough, a reflection of the English influence in Ireland at the time. The town's fortifications were strengthened, and it became an important outpost of English rule in the Midlands.

The 18th and 19th centuries saw significant development in Portlaoise, including the construction of notable buildings and the establishment of the railway in 1847, which spurred further growth. During the Irish War of Independence and subsequent Civil War, the town was a significant military base.

In the 20th century, Portlaoise continued to grow, transitioning from a market town into a significant urban center in the Midlands. Today, Portlaoise is known for its rich heritage, with historic sites such as the Old Fort, now a protected structure, and its vibrant culture, blending modern amenities with its historical roots.

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