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Reading the Local Landscape

This very successful local heritage training course runs in partnership between Clare County Council and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) and was part funded by Creative Ireland Clare in 2018 and 2019. The course prioritises the participation of early school leavers, community advocates and heritage enthusiasts in local communities.

To date, it has been held in four locations – Scariff, Miltown Malbay, Kilrush and Killaloe.  It includes an introduction to geology, biodiversity and natural heritage, archaeology and architecture and its aim is to enable course participants to develop heritage projects based in their local area.  The course is facilitated by Zena Hoctor who designed and delivered the course with a team of experts from the field.

These experts included Clare County Council staff who facilitated tours and presentations, e.g. Eamon Doyle, Clare County Council geologist, Clare County Library’s Local Studies Centre, the Environment section and the Conservation Officer.

The benefits of this course to the participants and the local community has been empowering and far reaching.  The groups have built on their skills and are eager to provide access to their findings to the wider community.  The success of the project has advanced to participants now receiving training as part of the iCAN Irish Community Archive Network initiative with the National Museum of Ireland and Clare County Council Heritage Office.  This website training allows local communities to share their local history and heritage through a step-by-step training and mentoring programme.  It provides a platform for “Reading the Local Landscape” on the Clare Heritage section of the iCAN website.   The iCAN project has been supported by funding from Creative Ireland Clare and five community heritage groups are currently creating their own web pages under this portal.  Participants will learn how to write for the web, review and redraft content, scan documents and images and learn how to upload content such as videos and virtual tours of important local sites.

This course is co-ordinated by Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer with Clare County Council and member of the Council Cultural Team and Margot Walsh of LCETB.

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