National Heritage Week, one of Ireland’s largest cultural events, starts on Saturday (August 15 ) with a week of activities across Galway.
Local heritage groups and communities have developed projects for this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’. The theme is designed to promote the sharing of experience and knowledge, while ensuring the country’s heritage is more inclusive than ever in restricted times.
Projects for National Heritage Week have embraced a variety of digital and online formats to provide innovative ways to explore Ireland’s diverse heritage - online talks and exhibitions, virtual tours, podcasts, videos ,and blogs. This focus is to bring communities together by allowing the public to discover and explore national heritage treasures from their own homes.
Some of the events taking place in the county include a virtual tour of Medieval Loughrea by Galway archaeologist Bernie Doherty. As part of Loughrea's Medieval Festival for 2020, a special postcard has been produced, and a children’s competition is being run.
A podcast that discusses the Gaelic military response to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Connacht in the 12th century, entitled 'The Gallowglass & the Kern - The Gaelic Response to Invasion' will also take place, while The Galway County Biodiversity Project is highlighting the importance of water and watery places for people and nature, with a short film aimed at community groups working on projects, in or near, water.
CEO of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, says this year in particular, National Heritage Week offers a moment for community engagement and social cohesion.
"With so many of us holidaying at home, National Heritage Week offers new ideas and experiences to build on our renewed interest in heritage. The projects showcased give us all the opportunity to reflect on our heritage, and to learn something about our past that can perhaps influence our future.
"I invite people across Galway to visit heritageweek.ie, browse the extensive range of heritage projects that people have worked tirelessly on – and see what small events may be taking place in their area – and connect with their local heritage.”
National Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council as part of European Heritage Days – a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which more than 40 countries participate each year.
For more information on these projects, and to explore others, visit www.heritageweek.ie