Lots to do and see in Galway during Heritage Week

Heritage Week, the national celebration of our history and heritage, starts on August 23 and some 60 events will take place throughout Galway city and county during the week. Below is a selection of the many free events taking place around County Galway during the week, for a full list of events see www.heritageweek.ie

Talk on the life and times of Commander Bill King

Join local filmmaker Garry Kelly for a night of talk and film on Commander Bill King. The talk, which is organised as part of Heritage Week, will take place in Oranmore Castle on Monday August 25 from 7.30pm.

Commander Bill King of Oranmore was renowned for many years as the last surviving submarine commander of World War II, and as an adventurer who single-handedly sailed around the world aboard the Galway Blazer II. Back in 1998, Garry Kelly of GK Media/DIG Productions started interviewing Commander King about his life and many adventures and recorded a series of interviews over the following years.

Commander King died in 2012 at the age of 102.

At next week’s event Mr Kelly will discuss the time spent filming Commander King in Oranmore Castle and screen footage of him on board the HMS Snapper in 1940, footage of Galway Blazer II being launched in 1968, and video interviews recorded with him in 2001.

This two-hour event is free and is being held in partnership with the Galway County Council heritage office. Light refreshments will be served afterwards.

To reserve your place, email [email protected].

Me, Nu, and nature at Coole

There will be several Heritage Weeks events taking place at Coole Park, including a family quiz and treasure trail which runs throughout the week. On Sunday August 24 Coole will host Art and Nature Together, a family activity event from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Participants will make a collage of their favourite things at Coole, and can take their work home after the event.

Children can enjoy more nature activities on Wednesday August 27 from 2.30pm to 4pm, with Open Your Eyes to Nature, which will allow youngsters to explore nature using their senses. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Coole’s bat population will take centre stage for a guided bat walk through the woods on Friday August 29, starting at 8.45pm.

Discover Coole’s cultural history on Sunday August 31 with Me and Nu and Grandma Too, a guided walk through Coole exploring the favourite places of Lady Augusta Gregory and her grandchildren. The walk will take place from 2.30pm to 4pm. For more information on these events see www.coolepark.ie

Crafts and competitions at Athenry Castle

A demonstration of old crafts will take place at Athenry Castle on Sunday August 24 from 2pm to 5pm. Demonstrators include spinning and weaving using traditional spinning wheel and table loom, by Geraldine O'Sullivan; a hurley making by David Brodrick who will show a selection of old hurleys and explain the different stages in crafting them; traditional strawcraft by Pat Brodrick; and Irish lace and crochet making by Anne Quinn. Other events on the day include a photo competition, titled Athenry Foto Quest, starting at 2pm — don’t forget to bring your camera — and a one-hour children's craft workshop with Pippablue at 3pm.

On Thursday August 28, there will be a tour of the Dominican Priory starting at 2.30pm. You can also explore Athenry Castle on Sunday August 31, with free admission to the castle on the day. For more information contact Athenry Castle at 091 844797.

Sunday events for all ages at Portumna Castle

There will be activities for people of all ages at Portumna Castle on Sunday August 24.

Alan O’Rourke will give a presentation and walk on herb gardening on the day, starting at 3pm sharp. This event will include a general introduction to herbs as medicine and food, and the differences between cultivated and wild herbs. O’Rourke will also profile cultivated medicinal herbs and wild herbs, and give an introduction on their medicinal properties and how to grow them. This will be followed, weather permitting, with a walk through Portumna Castle’s 17th century walled kitchen garden.

Alan O’Rourke has worked with plants since a child, has used herbal and nutritional medicine for over 20 years and is an avid forager. He regularly leads wild food and medicine walks around his home county of Cork.

Children can learn to weave their own dreamcatcher from all natural materials in a workshop with Sarah Thompson from 2pm to 5pm, and a teddy’s day out will also take place at the castle during this time. Bring along your teddy dressed as anything from a pauper to lord and lady of the castle (see Canning’s shop window for inspiration ), and enjoy stories and a singalong with Hayley.

Portumna Players, the winning boules team from 2013, will challenge any team of four to a game of boules in the garden on the day. A family quiz will also take place on the day, with participants competing for a Family Heritage Card, which will allow the winning family access to all OPW sites throughout Ireland for one year. Country markets will provide refreshments at the event.

For further details contact 090 9741658 or email [email protected].


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