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National Heritage Week 2013 set to reach record total with 1700 events nationwide

National Heritage Week 2013 which takes place nationwide from 17th — 25th August 2013, looks set to reach a record total of 1700 events this year, the majority of which will be FREE to attend. From dancing at the crossroads in Cork, prehistoric hunting games in Donegal, touring the tenements of Dublin City from 2013, learning about the Wicklow Gold Rush of 1795 to becoming a mini ranger for the day and exploring the wildlife of Clara Bog in Offaly… there is something for everyone to enjoy during National Heritage Week.

Speaking at the launch Michael Starrett, CEO of the Heritage Council said, “In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the understanding and awareness among the general public of the importance and impact heritage can have, both economically and socially. Heritage is not about nostalgia, or some misplaced aim to live in the past, but an opportunity to engage with our own story and in particular the natural and cultural heritage of where we live.  The theme of Heritage Week 2013, ‘Discover the Past. Build the Future’ reflects this thinking. 

With limited support, communities and organisations across Ireland have come together to animate the heritage resources on our doorsteps, often unnoticed and underappreciated. The value of the week is the sheer number of stakeholders from state agencies, local authorities, community groups and volunteers, that come together to host a public education programme that is open and accessible to all ages. In 2012, over 500,000 people attended Heritage Week events, with over 1700 events scheduled to take place we expect this year to be the biggest National Heritage Week to date. 

Our hope is that through National Heritage Week, we can increase people’s understanding of how important our heritage is, to our understanding of who we are and to our economic well-being”. 

The majority of events throughout the week are FREE to attend and there is something for everyone. You can…

-explore Loop Head Lighthouse, dance at the crossroads of Laharn Cross in Cork, 

-take part in prehistoric hunting games including a spear-throwing game in Donegal, 

-tour the tenements of Dublin City from 1913, 

-sample medieval brewing learning about traditional ales and meads in Louth, 

-explore Aras an Uachtarain, learn about fashion over the last 800 years at the Hunt Museum Limerick, take a boat trip on Lough Ree, 

-hunt for fossils in the rockpools of Carlingford, 

-take a look back at Moore Street during the 1913 Lock-Outs, 

-listen to storyteller Niall de Burca’s magical tale in the Casino Marino, record your own story and leave your memories for future generations at the Jackie Clarke Collection in Mayo, 

-get spooked by ghost stories in the Charles Fort Dungeons in Kinsale, 

-learn about birds of prey as the fly over the seat of the High Kings of Ireland in Tara, 

-go back in time and storm Trim Castle, become a mini ranger for the day and explore the wildlife of Clara Bog in Offaly, 

-re-enact the 1798 landing of General Humbert and his French forces in Kilcummin and the subsequent ‘Battle of Killala’, 

-tour Arbour Hill Cemetery, 

-learn the traditional Irish craft of thatching in Tipperary, 

-experience the daily business of being a monk in Lismore Waterford and learn about the Wicklow  Gold Rush of 1795.  

50,000 copies of the National Heritage Week Event Guide will be 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, and the free iPhone / Android app. 

For updates on events throughout the week, competitions, and to see what’s happening near you log on to, download the free Heritage Week iPhone / Android App or follow us on Twitter @heritageweek / Heritage Week Facebook page. 


Further information: 

Michelle Tritschler, MKC Communications, 01 7038604 / 086 3846630

Paula Eager, MKC Communications, 01 7038612 / 087 4109910

Isabell Smyth, Heritage Council, 087 9676889

A snapshot of some of the events taking place during National Heritage Week 2013: 

-Clare - Open Day at Loop Head Lightkeeper's House Sunday 25th August 10:00 — 16:00 (FREE) An opportunity to view the conservation work of Irish Landmark. Self-guided tour of this restored C19th light keeper's house, now available for holidays. Child supervision required due to coastal location. Venue : Loop Head Lightkeeper's House, Kilbaha, Co. Clare. Organiser : Irish Landmark Trust, Caroline Crowley,, 01 6704733, 

-Clare - Victorian Day at the Seaside Wednesday 21st August 12:00 — 20:00 (FREE) Celebrating Kilkee's history as a Victorian seaside resort with a day of re-enactments, fancy dress, games and heritage walks.Venue : Kilkee, Loop Head, County Clare. Organiser : Loop Head, Laura Foley,, 086 4099624,

-Cork - What A Game That Was..., Saturday 24th August 10:00 — 17:00 (FREE) Denis O'Sullivan will put his Hurling and Camogie collection on display - including radio recordings, DVD footage and rare images. Don't miss this chance to meet Denis, chat and see this fabulous collection. Bishopstown Library, Wilton, Cork, Organiser : Cork City Library, Breda Hassett,, 021 4924950,

-Cork - Dancing at the Crossroads, Sunday 18th & 25th August 20:00 — 22:00 (FREE). Situated at the foot of Baelic Mountain, in the heart of North Cork, Laharn Cross is the location where people gather each and every Sunday night throughout the summer months to enjoy open air cross roads dancing. Large crowds step it out on the raised timber platform and dance the night away to live music.  Waltzes, quicksteps, foxtrots, not to mention polkas, Shoe the Donkey and the Siege of Ennis, are the order of the evening. Laharn Cross, Laharn, Lombardstown, Mallow (Signposted from the N72 Mallow-Killarney road), Organiser : Laharn Community Action Ltd., John Paul O`Shea,, 086 8903154

-Cork - Ghost Stories in the Charles Fort Dungeons, Sunday 18th August 16:00 — 16:45 (FREE) There are ghosts aplenty in the Charles Fort Dungeons.  Storytelling led by guide, Kathy Soo-O'Brien. Limited availability.  Not suitable for buggies. Charles Fort, OPW, Summercove, Kinsale. Office of Public Works - Charles Fort, Karen Healy,, 021 4772263,

-Donegal - Prehistoric Hunting Games 2013 Sunday 25th August 11:00 — 14:30 (FREE but donations to support our heritage activity projects in the area are welcome) Competition of Spear-Thrower, approved by the World Atlatl Association Inc.  The contestants will use archaeological replicas of throwers and darts. Also the event will provide a replica of a Mesolithic camp, with areas for children and a cooking area, based in Irish archaeology. Venue : An Bun Beag Beach, Tidal sandbanks of Magheraclogher beach. Organiser : Breochloch. Community Archaeology, Miguel Angel Gonzalez,, 028 90280217

-Donegal - 'Dancing by the Sea: the Rise and Fall of the Show-Band Scene' Saturday 17th August 18:00 — 20:00 (FREE) History Ireland hedge school focusing on ballroom and show-band culture using Bundoran as a nostalgic case study. Features guest speakers and local historians. This round table discussion has a large audience interaction element, welcoming input from locals and enthusiasts.  Venue : The Kitchen Bake Bundoran, Main Street, Bundoran. Organiser : Discover Bundoran, Tom Dillon,, 071 9841350, 

-Dublin - Guided Tour of Freemasons' Hall, 17th — 25th August 11:30 — 13:30 and 14:30 — 16:30 (FREE - Booking is essential as places are limited) Visitors will be guided through the rooms of this Victorian Hall, home of the headquarters of Irish Freemasonry since 1869. Booking is essential as places are limited. Venue : Freemasons' Hall, 17 Molesworth Street. Organiser : Grand Lodge of Freemasons, Rebecca Hayes,,  01 6795465, 

-Dublin - A look at the Tenement City Saturday 24th August 11.30-13.00 (FREE — booking required) Walking tour, Donal Fallon (Historical Insights/Come here to me!). This tour will explore tenements and housing in Dublin city historically, looking at issues such as the Church Street disaster of 1913. Starts at Collins Barracks and ends in O'Connell St (adjacent to LUAS).  Venue : National Museum of Ireland , Decorative Arts and History, Benburb Street, Dublin 7. Organiser : National Museum of Ireland/ Historical Insights/ History Ireland, Eimir O`Brien,, 01 6486453, / 

-Dublin - Tour of Marsh's (with some 'behind the scenes' thrown in!) Monday 19th August 11:00 — 12:00 and Wednesday21st — Friday 23rd August 11:00 — 12:00. (FREE Tour General admission €1 ) A tour of the library, including the rooms not normally open to the public, an opportunity to view books of Irish interest and a visit to our garden. There will be only 15 places on each tour, so booking, by phone or email, is essential.  In addition to this the library is open to the public as usual (except Tuesday) and there will be a special charge of €1.  We will also be open both Sundays (18th & 25th Aug) 1pm-5pm. Venue : Marsh's Library, St. Patrick's Close, Dublin 8. Julie Burke,, 01 4543511,

-Dublin - Children’s Day at the Aras an Uachtarain , Saturday 24th August 11.30 — 13:00 (FREE)Children's tour of the President's house and then a visit to the Garda horses and working dogs. Places are limited so please register by email. Meet at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre 15 mins before tour.  There will be two tours this day at 11.30 and 2.30.  Booking essential. Strictly one adult per child/children. Venue : Aras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Organiser : O.P.W, Terry Butler,,  01 8155963

-Galway - Cruinniú na mBád Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th 9:00 — 21:00 (FREE) Galway Hooker Festival with racing of boats, Pucáns, Gleotóigs and Hookers. Re-enactment of old turf race from Conemara to Kinvara.  The festival started in 1979 to promote the revival of the Galway Hooker and protect and promote our maritime heritage. Venue : Kinvara, (South) Co. Galway, Organiser : Cruinniú na mBád , Dr Michael Brogan,, 087 2510922, 

-Galway - Guided Tour of Mutton Island Heritage Centre & Lighthouse Monday 19th — Friday 23rd 11:30 — 12:30 (FREE) Children over 10 years only, please. Booking essential, by phone only. Maximum of 20 people per group. Assemble at Inner Gate 10 minutes before the tour. Venue : Mutton Island Lighthouse, Mutton Island. Organiser : Heritage Office, Galway City Council, Dr. Jim Higgins,, 091 536401, 

-Laois - The Night Sky Over Laois Saturday 17th August 21:00 — 23:30 (FREE) Astronomy outreach event for all ages featuring powerpoint presentations, videos, outside observing and use of large telescopes.  If weather is rainy or overcast, the event will be restricted to indoors. Venue : Stradbally Library, Stradbally Co Laois. Organiser : Midlands Astronomy Club, Declan Molloy, 087 9931425,

-Laois - Kids Sean Nós Dance Workshop Friday 23rd August 11:00 — 13:00 (FREE) Workshop with Maureen Culleton for children aged 8 - 12 years on traditional Irish sean nós and brush dancing. Venue : Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise. Organiser : Laois Heritage Office, Maureen Culleton,, 087 6482038,

-Limerick - 800 Years of Fashion Saturday 24th 14:00 — 15:30 (FREE) Learn about clothes from the past and the societies that wore them, from Elizabethan nobility to Medieval serfs! Venue : The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland St. Limerick,, 061 312833, 

-Longford - Boat Trip on Lough Ree Sunday 25th August 12:00 — 15:00 (FREE) A boat trip to visit some of the islands in Lough Ree. Booking essential. Please email for bookings. Venue : Lough Ree. Organiser : Irish Wildlife Trust Longford Westmeath Branch, Noreen McLoughlin, , 087 4127248

-Louth - Rock Pooling and Rock Fooling Saturday 17th 14:00 — 16:30 (FREE) Mix wildlife hunting with fossil hunting and even have a go at making your own fossil casts and tracks. Compare 300 million year old fossils with today's seashells. This event mixes biodiversity, geology and a little bit of craft. Wear good strong shoes or wellies for rockpooling. This project is part financed by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Venue : Mullatee, Carlingford, Mullatee, Greenore Rd, Carlingford. Organiser : Action for Biodiversity in partnership with Mourne Cooley Gullion Geotourism, Abby McSherry, , 0044 30313100 ext 3121, 

-Louth - Medieval Brewing Demonstration Sunday 25th August 10:00 — 17:00 (FREE) Medieval brewing demonstration. Swing by to sample some traditional ales and meads and learn about how they were brewed in medieval times. Venue : Old Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. Organiser : OPW- Louth, Yvonne  Mulligan,, 041 9826459

-Mayo - In Humbert's Footsteps Saturday 17th 14:00 — 17:00 (FREE) A historical re-enactment of sections of the 1798 landing of General Humbert and his French forces in Kilcummin and the subsequent 'Battle of Killala’. Involvement of the French, Irish and UK navy ships with fully uniformed re-enactors and pikemen together with roaring cannons and crackling muskets. Street entertainment, music and fun for all the family.  Venue : The Streets of Killala, Co. Mayo. Organiser : Killala Community Heritage Group, Aideen Ryan,, 086 3815973, 

-Mayo - 'Record Your Story' Tuesday 20th — Friday 23rd 14:00 — 16:00 (FREE) 'Record Your Story': Calling all storytellers! Leave your memories for future generations at the Jackie Clarke Collection. Using our new recording booth, we invite you to share your stories, young and old. Local historians will be on hand to facilitate the project. Venue : The Jackie Clarke Collection, Pearse Street, Ballina. Organiser : Mayo County Council - Jackie Clarke Collection, Anne Marie Forbes,, 087 4133752, 

-Meath - Feis Teamhra Sunday 25th 15:00 — 17:00. The annual Feis Teamhra celebrates Tara with music and poetry from Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Iarla Á“ Lionáird, Susan McKeown and Paul Muldoon. Venue : Hill of Tara Visitors Centre, Tara. Organiser : Susan McKeown/Paul Muldoon, Susan McKeown,, 087 9345045

-Meath - Falconry on the Hill of Tara Sunday 18th 13:00 — 16:00 (FREE) Learn all about falconry, birds of prey and their role in the environment. Please keep dogs away from the birds! Come and enjoy these magnificent birds as they fly over the Seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Venue : Hill of Tara , Tara, Navan. Organiser : Office of Public Works , Joan Revington,, 046 9025903, 

-Meath - Storm the Castle Sunday 18th 10:00 — 16:00 (FREE) Join Dig it Kids (bringing archaeology and history to life for kids) in attacking Trim Castle. This is part of the annual Trim Town Walls festival (and will be a lot of fun). We will be running c. 45 minute fun workshops on the hour throughout the day (first come first served). Venue : Trim Castle, Trim, County Meath. Organiser : Dig it Kids, Stephen Mandal,, 01 2968190,

-Offaly - Mini Ranger Day Wednesday 21st August 11:00 — 14:30 (FREE) Explore the wildlife of Clara Bog and find out what it takes to be a Ranger. Come enjoy the boggy world of Clara with our award-winning mini ranger activity. You will meet our local Ranger too. Suitable for children from 7 - 12 years old. Please bring a packed lunch, water and dress for all weathers. You will need to book for this event. Venue : Clara Bog Visitor Centre , Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Clara, Co.Offaly. Organiser : Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Mary Healy, Claragu,057 9368878,

-Sligo - Re-enactment: The American Wake Sunday 25th 16:00 — 23:00. At the American Wake in Dolly's Cottage we will recreate the scene with traditional music, song, dance and storytelling around the turf fire. Cost: Donation. Venue : Dolly's Cottage, Strandhill. Organiser : Strandhill ICA Guild, Margaret Flynn,, 087 1308396

-Tipperary - Thatching Demonstration Sunday 25th August 14:30- 16:30 (FREE) Learn about one of Ireland's most fascinating crafts by joining us for a thatching demonstration on the lawn. Free access to the house by guided tour only. Venue : Swiss Cottage, Ardfinnan Road, Cahir. Organiser : OPW, Eleanor Morrissey,, 052 7441011,

-Waterford - Monk-y Business Saturday 17th 11:00 — 13:00 (FREE) Children are invited to discover the daily business of being a monk in times gone by.  Learn how the monks followed St Carthage to Lismore and built a great university. Crafty young novices will try their hand at making ink, decorating beautiful manuscripts and the art of calligraphy. Booking essential.Venue : Lismore Heritage Centre, Lismore. Organiser : Lismore Heritage Centre, Arlene Kenny,, 058 54975, 

-Wicklow - The Week That Was: County Wicklow in August 1913 Wednesday 21st August 19:00 — 19:45 (FREE) A talk and discussion session presented by Jim Scannell on Wicklow society and current affairs as they were in August 1913. Jim is a prolific local historian with a special interest in Bray and North Wicklow and is involved with numerous community and historical groups. Venue : Ballywaltrim Library, Boghall Road, Bray.Organiser : Wicklow County Council Library Service, Ciara O`Brien,, 01 2866566

-Wicklow - The Story of Wicklow Gold Friday 23rd 20:00 — 22:00 (FREE) A talk on the Wicklow gold rush of 1795 by Peader McArdle, former Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland. Based on his book Gold Frenzy - a fascinating talk about the many aspects of the gold rush story. Venue : Newcastle Community Centre, Newcastle, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Organiser : Newcastle Residents' Association, Miriam Johnston,, 087 2214533,