Merlin Woods and Circle of Life events planned for Heritage Week

An exciting programme of Galway events is planned to celebrate Heritage Week which  begins on Sunday.

Friends of Merlin Woods is working with many different organisations this year, and it will be the first year of the Community Field School funded by the Heritage Council which begins August 24. Led by archaeologist Martin Fitzpatrick, the two day workshop ‘Introduction to Archaeology‘  will show surveying techniques, identifying archaeological features of Merlin Castle, vernacular buildings, and much more. 

Galway Irish Wildlife Trust’s Sheila Murphy will lead a walk exploring the flora and ecosystems on Sunday August 23 from 2pm meeting at Merlin Woods City Park near the playground.

On August 24, Kate Mcney from Vincent Wildlife Trust will give a talk on pine martens, stoats and bats, followed by a bat walk in Merlin Woods. Meeting place is the Ard Family Resource Centre Doughiska Rd at 8.30pm.

On Wednesday August 26 the Galway City Heritage Office will host the Built Historic, Natural, Cultural and Archaeological Heritage of Merlin Woods Seminar. Speakers will include Dr Jim Higgins, Galway City heritage officer, Martin Fitzpatrick, archaeologist, Sean Purtill, and Colin and Caroline Stanley (Friends of Merlin Woods ).  Later that evening John Lusby from Birdwatch Ireland will give a talk on the Birds of Merlin Woods and will lead an exploratory walk in Merlin Woods afterwards - the meeting place is Ard Family Resource Centre, Doughiska Rd, at 8pm.

The final event of the week, which will take place on Thursday August 27 from 7pm, is a heritage, local folklore and history walk led by local historian Norbert Sheerin and accompanied by heritage officer Dr Jim Higgins - meeting point Merlin Woods City Park near the playground.

All events are open to all, pre-booking is required only for Community Field School. Sensible footwear and clothing is advised for outdoor events.  All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information contact [email protected], telephone 0852484380, or visit Facebook.

Circle of Life

As part of the events being organised in Galway by Dúchas na Gaillimhe during National Heritage Week,  the completion of the Global Heritage Walkway in Circle of Life Garden Quincentennial Park, Salthill will be celebrated with the unveiling of the last of the continental representational stones.  This stone was sourced from the ancient temple town of Madurai in South East India, a place of seminal importance in the political life of Mahatma Gandhi.  

An event will be held in Quincentennial Park on Saturday August 29 at 3pm at which the Mayor of Galway, Cllr Frank Fahy and the Indian Ambassador, Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh, will attend.  There will also be a cultural dimension to the occasion, including a fusion of the common roots of traditional Irish singing with Indian chant.

With the unveiling of the Indian stone this completes the Global Heritage Walkway, which also includes a stone from Ellis Island, New York, The Irish College in Leuven, Belgium, Melbourne Football Grounds in Australia, and a stone from the Christiaan Barnard Museum in the Groote Shuur Hospital in Cape Town where the first heart transplant took place in 1967.  The incorporation of these stones in Circle of Life Garden is designed to reflect the universality of the life giving cause of organ donation and communicate a global message of inclusion and welcome to all.

On Tuesday and Thursday ( August 25 and 27 ) at 2pm a guided walk of Circle of Life garden will take place, highlighting the many and varied heritage features of this very special national commemorative garden. 

All are welcome.

Portumna Castle

The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life will take part in Heritage Day at Portumna Castle & Gardens and will be demonstrating basic weaving and wool spinning. 

Furniture Upcycled will be demonstrated by Gerry Byrne from “The Cottage Store”, Portumna, while various stands and demonstrations such as basket making, children’s crafts, will also be on show.

The Western Veteran & Vintage Motor Club will be showing a collection of vintage cars along the castle avenue.

Visitors can afternoon tea on the lawn with Portumna Country markets while listening to Tony’s collection of Old Time Music.


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