The Heritage Council is encouraging people and organisations throughout Donegal to get involved in National Heritage Week by organising an event in their town, village or community. National Heritage Week takes place from Saturday, August 18 to Sunday, August 26 this year.
Online registration is now open and all events must be registered by Thursday, May 31 in order to be included the free National Heritage Week Event Guide produced by The Heritage Council. You can register your event by submitting the details online at www.heritageweek.ie or completing a ‘Heritage Week’ registration form available from The Heritage Council on 1850 200 878. The County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council Cultural Services will also be producing its free, pocket-size ‘Heritage Week Events Guide for County Donegal’ that has proved so popular in recent years based on the information submitted.
“Heritage Week was a great success in County Donegal in 2011. We had over 90 events taking place at regional venues in the county and most of them were free,” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“Events included illustrated talks, fieldtrips, guided culture and nature walks, heritage site visits, demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts, workshops, book launches,‘living history’ events, heritage and folklore quiz, heritage open days, historical walking tours, garden tours, special exhibitions, storytelling, live music and children’s activities. The Cultural Services Division of Donegal County Council (which includes Archives, Arts, Heritage, Library, Museum, Public Art and Regional Cultural Centre) organised or hosted about 30 events last year and plans are underway for this year.”
National Heritage Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and Local Authority Heritage Officers with support from Fáilte Ireland. The principal aims of ‘National Heritage Week’ are to foster awareness of the built, cultural and natural heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation and to raise interest in our shared Irish and European heritage.
Speaking about National Heritage Week, Isabell Smyth, Head of Communications and Education at The Heritage Council said, “Every year people’s involvement in National Heritage Week continues to grow. Last year we saw 1,500 events take place nationwide and we expect to see an increase on that number again this year. This year we are focusing on promoting Ireland’s wonderful built heritage. Our feedback tells us that there is a huge demand to access historic buildings not usually open to the public. We hope that all owners and managers of historic buildings will take part in the week’s events and make them accessible to the public. It doesn’t matter whether your building is in public or private use or if it is a stately home, medieval castle, Norman tower or vernacular cottage – take part and contribute to the success of the week! The majority of the events that take place during Heritage Week are community based. Many people that organise events do so out of passion and enthusiasm for their local heritage. The week is one of community participation, engagement and most importantly fun. National Heritage Week is open to everyone; you can get involved by organising your own event, attending events or volunteering with local groups in your area”.
Where possible, events should be free of charge or offer special concession rates. The Heritage Council will promote Heritage Week nationally and provide organisers with materials including posters and a programme of events to promote their activities. For further information, log on to www.heritageweek.ie, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1850 200 878