Port Laoise is an Irish town located in the province of Leinster. It is one of the fastest growing towns in Ireland and has a population of 22,050. The town is of historical importance, being the site of the Fort of Maryborough, built by English setters in the 16th century. The town used to be known for its various manufactories, producing iron and steel buildings, tennis balls, tyres and electrical cabling. The town is now a commercial centre and a hub of shopping and transport. Due to its central location and its concentration of pubs, bars and nightclubs, the town has become a popular destination for parties and weekend visits.