Share a story for National Heritage Week
Ireland’s annual celebration of our beautiful natural, built and cultural heritage returns this August with 2,000+ events set to impress nationwide. Rolled out by the Heritage Council, National Heritage Week is one of Ireland’s most popular cultural events and it’s little wonder as the celebration never fails to excite, inspire and engage.
With National Heritage Week 2018 centred around sharing stories and making connections, here are just some of the hundreds of free, public events and activities taking place in towns and villages around the country.
Get cultural in Connacht
In Connacht hear tales well told by storyteller/puppeteer Tommy Baker at ‘Scéal’ in Kinvara Courthouse, County Galway. All ages can Get Muddy at Leitrim Design House with hands-on demonstrations of eco-friendly wattle and daub building. Explore the majesty of Ireland’s oldest working mill in Foxford, County Mayo while discovering skills that have been passed down generations.
Head underground in County Roscommon with the Arigna Mining Experience as a former miner guides you through the area’s fascinating 400-year-old mining heritage. In County Sligo, stroll through the centuries on an archaeological walk in Deerpark to experience Neolithic and Megalithic tombs in astonishing detail.
Live it up in Leinster
Learn the ins and outs of pollination and biodiversity on a guided tour of the exquisite Irish Wildflower Garden at Altamont Gardens, County Carlow. In Dublin City, don’t miss the chance to explore the bell tower of St Patrick’s Cathedral and watch the bellringers in action.
In Kildare, delve into some literary heritage with a Joycean tour of Clongowes Wood College. The historic 19th-century school features in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Over in Graiguenamanagh Library, County Kilkenny, children can learn how to house insects in specially-made ‘bug hotels’! Lace up your dancing shoes and head to County Laois for a céilí mór in Ballyfin where stories will also be shared with some visiting dancers from Provence.
In Lisanurlan, County Longford, marvel at some equine beauty and see pedigree Irish cob horses in all their glory. Part of an exhibition in Traveller culture, you can also see replica barrel-top wagons and photos demonstrating rich Traveller heritage. View the streetscape of Dundalk, County Louth from a whole new perspective on a unique architectural bus tour of the town. Get comfy on the double decker as a local heritage officer and architectural conservation officer point out the man-made marvels. At County Meath’s Boyne Currach Centre learn all about the ancient currach-making tradition, carve a paddle and even take a jaunt down the serene canal.
Step back in time in County Offaly at Charleville Castle’s open day where you can roam its historic Neo-Gothic rooms and the idyllic woodland grounds. For story-time with a fun twist, head to the village of Fore in County Westmeath to let your imagination run wild. Choose a chapter from some 2,000 years of history and you can become a character in a tall tale with Storyland. In County Wexford, get creative with your hands with Irene Kelly’s willow basket weaving workshop. Meanwhile in County Wicklow, roam the stunning Russborough Demesne in Blessington on a guided tour of this 18th-century gem.
Discover Munster marvels
In County Clare, hop in a kayak and enjoy a unique tour of Bunratty Castle from the water; while in Skibbereen, County Cork, the West Cork History Festival boasts a line-up of historians, curators, experts and writers whose knowledge covers centuries. Celebrate 50 years of the National Folk Theatre of Ireland - Siamsa Tíre with a visual arts exhibition in Tralee, County Kerry.
Test your deciphering skills with Limerick’s historical handwriting workshop, using real archive letters and diaries – you never know what you might uncover. Get ready to dance at the crossroads in County Tipperary and experience an era when music and a dance partner were all you needed. Discover The Walls Project in Waterford City, where 50+ artists were invited to transform the city’s walls into a creative open-air gallery.
Uncover culture in Ulster
In County Cavan you can get out on The Living Bog to learn all about the intricate ecosystem of mosses, plants, rare wildlife and more in Mullagh. Find out just what’s in a name in County Monaghan as local historian Brian MacDonald dives into the meanings of Clones placenames. While County Donegal asks the age-old question – ‘Are You Going for a Mineral?’ – at Donegal County Museum, with a trip back in time to the iconic decades of showbands and dance halls.
Find out what else you can enjoy across the country this National Heritage Week at heritageweek.ie