The Heritage & History of Portwest

Founded in 1904 by Charles Hughes, the son of a small farmer on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Coast. He opened a retail store in on Bridge Street in Westport, Co. Mayo after purchasing the store for just £100. 

Although the company is now renowned globally for it's workwear and PPE, it is still owned and managed by the Hughes family in Westport.

From its early beginnings as the fledgling Charles Hughes store, nestling under the mighty shadow of Croagh Patrick, Portwest - The Outdoor Shop has served the people of Mayo and beyond, with the best value and quality in outdoor clothing and footwear, for over a century. 

Charles Hughes shop, Bridge Street (now Portwest)

We remain humble and proud of our heritage and our history in the West of Ireland and pride ourselves as an authentic Irish Brand with 199 years’ experience in producing outdoor clothing.

Today Portwest has stores in Westport, Galway and Killarney. The Portwest outdoor clothing range is designed in Westport and we continues to develop clothing that deliver peak protection to you in the great outdoors.

When Charles Hughes set up his shop on Bridge Street in 1904, he could not have envisaged such a turbulent future. He was committed to the Land War and national struggle, which led to Charles and his staff being intimidated, arrested and imprisoned. Westport was a place of great unrest in early 1920s. Like many other homes and businesses, his shop was ransacked and bombed.

The company has been a witness to history over the past 119 years and today we are as committed to community development as Charles Hughes and his colleagues were in the past. Below is a timeline of our founding father's journey to see Westport Prosper and the story behind how our brand developed:

CHARLES HUGHES TIMELINE

Mr. Charles Hughes and Miss Jennie Armstrong 1904Mr. Charles Hughes and Miss Jennie Armstrong Wedding photograph 17 August 1904

• 1904 - Charles Hughes buys Lennon's footwear shop for £100 in August and expands into drapery in October.

First ad in the Mayo News for the Opening of Charles Hughes store

• 1916 - Charles Hughes, his brother Owen and nephew Paddy are arrested and interned in Wales for eight months.

• 1917 - Charles Hughes' nephew and shop assistant, Paddy Hughes, age 18, drowns at Westport Quay on 7 August.

• 1919 - Charles Hughes Wholesale founded on Mill Street (now The Mariner hotel).

• 1920 - Charles Hughes 'on the run' from November 1920 until May 1922.

1921 - Crown forces bomb the Charles Hughes shop and wreck his home on 23 March. Mrs. Jennie Hughes holds a salvage sale of any remaining stock on 30 April.

Salvage Sale at Charles Hughes Shop Westport 1921

This advertisement is after the Crown forces bombed Charles’ shop. the Mayo News 30 April 1921

 1922 - Charles Hughes holds a 'Great New Opening' sale on 6 May after reconstructing his shop.

• 1933 - Charles Hughes introduces his first brand "An Chruach" (Irish name for “The Reek” the local name for Croagh Patrick)

• 1936 - Pádraig Hughes, nephew of Charles Hughes, joined the business. Pádraig, the father of our current owners - Owen, Harry and Cathal, later took over Charles Hughes Limited from his granduncle.

Padraig Hughes and his wife Márie Hughes (née Kelly)

Padraig Hughes, nephew of Charles Hughes and his wife, Márie Hughes (née Kelly), daughter of PJ Kelly

• 1984 - The Portwest brand name is registered.

• 1986A number of styles introduced in the Portwest brand & the first use of the Portwest brand on company letterheads

• 1992Mountain Logo introduced. Portwest first garments made in China.

• 1993 - Westport shop after the name changed from Charles Hughes to Portwest

• 1999 - Westport Clothing Ltd becomes Portwest Ltd. on 15 March. Logo redesigned. 

2013 - Portwest launch a complete collection of outdoor clothing in the Heritage Collection

Portwest Heritage Range 1904

2014 - Portwest celebrates 110 years in business and the Hughes family host a Heritage themed day in Westport. They launch of a commemorative book in that celebrates the rich history of the business from its humble beginnings and the political, social and economic obstacles they have faced.i

In the same year Portwest opened the Galway store on High Street in the former Kenny’s bookshop and art gallery. 

Portwest opens Galway store in 2014

 2017 - Portwest open new 3,000 square feet shop at 94 New Street, Killarney

Portwest Killarney Outdoor Shop opens 2017

 2020 - Portwest launches new website - TheOutdoorShop.ie to sell their range of outdoor clothing in their strive to become 'Ireland's favourite Outdoor Retailer'. 

 2021 - Portwest announced as the latest commercial partner with Mayo GAA. This five-year sponsorship deals results in the Portwest logo on the back of all Mayo jerseys. Logo rebranded. 

 2022 - Portwest Opens Newly Refurbished Flagship Store 

Portwest Collection

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Portwest Women's Carla Softshell Jacket (2024) | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Women's Carla Softshell Jacket (2024) | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Carla Softshell Jacket (2024)
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Sale price€85.00
Portwest Women's Arranmore Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Women's Arranmore Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Arranmore Fleece
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Sale price€35.00
Portwest Women's Bearna Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Women's Bearna Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Bearna Jacket
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Sale price€60.00
Portwest Ballycotton Gilet | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Ballycotton Gilet
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Sale price€55.00
Portwest Mens Ballycotton Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Mens Ballycotton Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Mens Ballycotton Jacket
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Sale price€65.00
Portwest Mens Broadhaven fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Mens Broadhaven fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Mens Broadhaven fleece
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Sale price€35.00
Portwest Mens Fastnet Rain Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Mens Fastnet Rain Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Mens Fastnet Rain Jacket
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Sale price€70.00
Portwest Dromore Beanie | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Dromore Beanie | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Dromore Beanie
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Sale price€16.00
PW W TARA FLEECE | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPW W TARA FLEECE | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Tara Fleece
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Sale price€25.00
Portwest Women's Dunraven Rain Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Women's Dunraven Rain Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Dunraven Rain Jacket
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Sale price€75.00
Portwest Women's Wicklow Fleece | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Wicklow Fleece
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Sale priceFrom €32.50
Portwest Carrabawn Beanie | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Carrabawn Beanie | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Carrabawn Beanie
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Sale price€16.00
Portwest Dromoland LED Beanie | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Dromoland LED Beanie | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Dromoland LED Beanie
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Sale price€18.00
Portwest Ballybunion Kids Rain Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Ballybunion Kids Rain Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Ballybunion Kids Rain Jacket
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Sale price€50.00
Portwest Kids Avoca Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Kids Avoca Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Kids Avoca Fleece
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Sale priceFrom €27.50
PW BEN FLEECE | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPW BEN FLEECE | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Men's Ben Fleece
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Sale price€25.00
Portwest Thomond Hat | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Thomond Hat | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Thomond Hat
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Sale price€16.00
Portwest Gasson Classic Long Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Gasson Classic Long Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Gasson Classic Long Fleece
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Sale price€50.00
Portwest Rossbeg Kid's Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Rossbeg Kid's Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Rossbeg Kid's Fleece
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Sale price€15.00
Portwest Milford Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Milford Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Milford Fleece
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Sale price€20.00
Portwest Glenveagh Classic Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Glenveagh Classic Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Glenveagh Classic Fleece
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Sale price€50.00
Portwest Cork City Men's Fleece | CHARLES HUGHES | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Cork City Men's Fleece | CHARLES HUGHES | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Cork City Men's Fleece
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Sale price€30.00
Portwest Skellig Hybrid Gilet | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Skellig Hybrid Gilet | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Skellig Hybrid Gilet
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Sale price€75.00
Save 15%
Portwest Boyne Padded Gilet | PORTWEST | PortwestPortwest Womens Boyne Padded Gilet | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Womens Boyne Padded Gilet
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Sale priceFrom €37.40 Regular price€44.00
Portwest Mens Dunmore Rain Jacket | PORTWEST | Portwest IrelandPortwest Mens Dunmore Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Mens Dunmore Rain Jacket
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Sale price€90.00
Save 50%
PW Bundoran Foam Bodyboard 33" | PORTWEST | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest PW Bundoran Foam Bodyboard 33"
Sale price€20.00 Regular price€40.00
Save 50%
Portwest Strandhill EPS Bodyboard | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Strandhill EPS Bodyboard - Collection Only
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Sale price€12.50 Regular price€25.00
Save 20%
Portwest Kids Changing Towel | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Kids Changing Towel | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Kids Changing Towel
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Sale price€36.00 Regular price€45.00
Save 20%
Portwest Kids Skellig Hooded Fleece | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Kids Skellig Hooded Fleece | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Kids Skellig Hooded Fleece
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Sale price€20.00 Regular price€25.00
Save 15%
Portwest Kids Fota Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Kids Fota Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Kids Fota Rain Jacket
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Sale price€34.00 Regular price€40.00
Portwest Womens Glassmore Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Womens Glassmore Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Womens Glassmore Rain Jacket
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Sale price€70.00
Portwest Women's Galway City Crop Fleece | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Women's Galway City Crop Fleece | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Galway City Crop Fleece
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Sale price€30.00
Portwest Womens Newgrange Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Womens Newgrange Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Newgrange Rain Jacket
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Sale price€85.00
Portwest Women's Kilronan Fleece | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Women's Kilronan Fleece | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Women's Kilronan Fleece
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Sale price€35.00
Portwest Mens Dunmore Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Mens Dunmore Rain Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Men's Dunmore Rain Jacket
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Sale price€90.00
Portwest Mens Portrush Softshell Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Mens Portrush Softshell Jacket | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Mens Portrush Softshell Jacket
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Sale price€79.00
Portwest Mens Cong Hybrid Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest IrelandPortwest Mens Cong Hybrid Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest Ireland
Portwest Portwest Mens Cong Hybrid Fleece
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Sale price€45.00
Portwest Womens Sheahan Fleece Top | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor ShopPortwest Womens Sheahan Fleece Top | Portwest | Portwest - The Outdoor Shop
Portwest Portwest Womens Sheahan Fleece Top
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Sale price€25.00
Save 20%
Portwest Sherkin Hooded Kids Fleece | PORTWEST | Portwest Ireland
Portwest Portwest Sherkin Hooded Kids Fleece
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Sale price€16.00 Regular price€20.00

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