NATIONAL HERITAGE WEEK
For the next nine days over 370,000 people are expected to take part in National Heritage Week, which kicks off on Saturday 20th August and runs until the 28th August. This year the week has hit a new record with over 1400 events due to take place nationwide. The majority of events are FREE to attend and the message from the Heritage Council, coordinators of the week, is to get out and experience the heritage on your doorstep.
Throughout the week people will have the opportunity to experience a diverse range of events from learning how the 1916 proclamation was printed at the National Print Museum, exploring lightkeepers’ houses along the coast, seeing a medieval weapons display in County Donegal, listening to a traditional music session with Mick O’Brien & family in the Botanical Gardens Glasnevin, touring the tower and ringing room of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, hearing the tales of the famous White Mice of the Casino Mario, exploring the mystery of Tara in Meath or even following Obama’s tour of Offaly.
For the first year ever, people will now be able to find out what is happening in their area while they are out and about by downloading the free iPhone app – Heritage Week Events 2011. Full event listings are also available on www.heritageweek.ie.
National Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council, the agency tasked with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland’s national heritage. Speaking on the eve of the week Michael Starrett, CEO of the Heritage Council said, “once again we have seen a fantastic response to National Heritage Week with hundreds of people volunteering their time to organise events in their local areas. When the Heritage Council first took over the running of National Heritage Week in 2005 there were just 500 events taking place during the week. Today the week is well over double the size and this is a direct result of the increasing levels of community involvement we are seeing nationwide. I would encourage everyone to check what events are happening in their local areas, you may be surprised to see what heritage is on your doorstep”.
As well as attending events throughout the week, you can also get involved by entering one of the two competitions run by the Heritage Council during the week. For those who have the gift of the gab, you can enter the National Heritage Week Tell Tale Storytelling Competition. Simply record an audio or video file of your tale or memory about your favourite place (fact or fiction), favourite folk tale or fictional story about Irish / European heritage and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories can be recorded on your smart phone or camera. Prizes include a weekend for two at Kinnitty Castle and a €300 One4All Voucher.
For those who think they have that photographic eye the challenge is to take a photo which you think captures Your History, Your Culture and Your Nature and enter it into the National Heritage Week Photography Competition. Photos can be submitted to http://pix.ie/group/heritageweek. Prizes include a €500 Irish Landmark Trust Weekend Stay Voucher.
For updates on events throughout the week, download the free iPhone app Heritage Week Events 2011 or log on to www.heritageweek.ie. You can also follow us on Twitter @heritageweek or the Heritage Week Facebook page.