Who knows the story of the Black Pig's Dyke?

Eight locations across the county, including the aforementioned dyke, will host just some of the 1,000 events taking place nationwide for Heritage Week between August 22-30.

Details were unveiled earlier this week at the launch of the Event Guide by the Heritage Council.

Now in its 19th year, National Heritage Week is a celebration of Irish natural and cultural heritage.

Other events across the county include “Moate through the Ages”, tree planting at Mullaghmeen, “Exploring Ireland's Mythic Heritage” at Belvedere and a guided tour of the mysterious Black Pig's Dyke beside Lough Owel (Details below ).

“National Heritage week makes sense now more than ever,” said Heritage Week ambassador, Ryan Tubridy, at the launch of the Event Guide.

“In tough times, it is right that we look at what is best about this country and where better to start than with heritage?

“Sometimes we take for granted the quality and depth of our past and National Heritage Week addresses that with appropriate gusto!”

Every county in Ireland will host free events during the week that will be suitable for young and old who want to get out and experience different parts of Ireland’s heritage.

The message from the Heritage Council this year is to “take part in it, it’s part of you”.

The National Heritage Week Event Guide contains a full list of events taking place across the country and can be seen in full on www.heritageweek.ie

For the less web-fluent of us, copies of the Guide will also be available free at OPW sites, heritage centres and historical societies, Fáilte Ireland tourist offices, libraries, CNCI members, NPWS sites, heritage officers and county councils, An Óige hostels, various individual museums (MSPI participants ), Bus Eireann stations, and hotels across the country.

Just some of the events this year include a commemoration of the world’s first motoring fatality in Birr, touching underwater creatures at a marine nature reserve in West Cork, getting up close and personal with the Waterford Bilberry goats, and tasting pigeon pie in Kerry County Museum.

National Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council and funded by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and is part of European Heritage Days, which is celebrated in over 49 countries across Europe.

The Heritage Council is the statutory body charged with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland’s national heritage.

This includes monuments, architectural heritage, plant and wildlife, habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, gardens and parks, and inland waterways.

Events across Westmeath include:

Moate Through The Ages in both Moate Library and Moate Museum on the Main Street on August 24-28; Line drawing With Olive Sharkey in the Fore Abbey Coffee Shop on Saturday, August 22 at 10.30am - 12.30pm and 2pm – 4pm; Guided tour of Delvin Village and the surrounding area from the Church of the Assumption on August 23; Tree planting in Mullaghmeen Forest, the highest point in the county and half way between Castlepollard and Finea, on August 22; guided tours of the Heritage Park and Museum at Dun Na Si Heritage Centre and Park in Moate, August 24-28; Castlepollard Museum Open Days, August 22-30; an outing to the strangely named Black Pig's Dyke on the shores of Lough Owel on August 28; an exhibition of the writings and local research of historian Micheál Conlon in Castlepollard Library, August 24-29; “Wonder of Ireland” - exploring Ireland's mythic heritage in Belvedere House and Gardens on August 22-30.


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