Over 400,000 people are expected to attend events throughout National Heritage Week, which is coordinated by the Heritage Council, and takes place nationwide from August 23rd-31st.
This year represents the UN 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family and to celebrate the theme for National Heritage Week 2014 is ‘Family -generations exploring heritage together’.
With over sixteen hundred events scheduled to take place, the majority of which are free to attend, there really is something for everyone to enjoy during the week.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD said: “As Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht I hold the view that the natural and built heritage of Ireland is a national asset of great importance. This asset has always made an important contribution to the economic activity of communities at both local and regional level. It is important that we continue to appreciate, conserve and protect this great asset we have in Ireland - our heritage.
“Our heritage plays such an important role in celebrating our history, contributing to a sense of belonging and to the distinctiveness of our country. It is our communities, indeed our families, big and small, that are the custodians of our local heritage and who will pass on traditions and knowledge to the next generation. I would like to commend the work undertaken by communities in our cities, towns and villages who will make this year’s National Heritage Week yet another success”.
Each year events range from medieval fairs, night-time bat walks, wildlife walks and lectures, classical music and poetry recitals, traditional music sessions, storytelling, historical re-enactments, and local history walks and talks.
Michael Starrett, CEO of the Heritage Council, said: “National Heritage Week focuses on getting people involved in the heritage of Ireland and particularly the heritage of the local community, making it accessible to everyone. We have seen a real shift in people’s interest in the heritage of their places over the past decade and a much greater recognition of the value heritage adds to every community across Ireland”.
The diversity and sheer number of events that take place in every county across Ireland during Heritage Week is what makes it unique.
Fifty thousand copies of the National Heritage Week Event Guide will become available in the coming weeks free throughout the country in Fáilte Ireland Tourist Offices, Libraries, OPW Sites, Bus Eireann Stations, County Council Offices etc.
Complete event listings are also available on the National Heritage Week website - www.heritageweek.ie.
The National Heritage Week Photography Competition is also inviting people to submit original photographs interpreting the theme of this year’s Heritage Week - “Famil - generations exploring heritage together”. More details can be found on www.heritageweek.ie.
Heritage Week is co-ordinated by The Heritage Council and is part of European Heritage Days, which is celebrated in over forty countries across Europe. More information is available on www.heritageweek.ie.