Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, Donegal County Council cathaoirleach; Joe McHugh, TD, minister of state; and others who attended Tuesday's launch of the Donegal Heritage Week event guide at the Donegal County
Donegal will celebrate National Heritage Week this month with 124 events across the county.
National Heritage Week, which runs from August 19th through August 27th, is designed to raise awareness of, generate pride in and encourage the conservation of our natural, built and cultural heritage.
At Tuesday’s launch of the County Donegal Heritage Week event guide, Joe McHugh, TD and minister of state, credited the work of local groups and individuals in preserving and promoting local heritage.
“I would like to acknowledge fully the great work that you're doing,” he said. “You are the champions, and I don't use that word lightly.
“Not alone are you looking at the present, you're looking back, but you're looking at the future,” he said.
Many people involved in organising Heritage Week events attended the launch, which was held at the Donegal County Museum on Letterkenny’s High Road. Among the local events are tours and talks, guided walks and exhibitions, and activities for children.
The minister of state also acknowledged the work of Donegal County Council and its cultural services division, its heritage office and the staff of the county museum. The cultural services division of the county council has organised or is hosting more than 20 of the 124 events taking place in Donegal during Heritage Week.
Minister of State McHugh said that when future tourism plans are developed, cultural heritage will be at the heart of them.
Speaking at the launch, Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, said Heritage Week not only showcases the heritage of Donegal but also represents the best of the heritage sector in the county.
Heritage brings history and culture to life and makes Donegal an attractive county in which to live, he said.
“It increases pride in our sense of place, it communicates our sense of identity, it supports jobs, it provides training opportunities and it attracts visitors who come here to explore our heritage,” the cathaoirleach said.
National Heritage Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and local authority heritage officers. The event is part of the reconfigured Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Joseph Gallagher, county council heritage officer, said the funding that the Heritage Council and the department provide are very important in supporting local initiatives thorughout the county.
“It always amazes me the number of people engaged in every community through- out the county in heritage initiatives," Mr. Gallagher said.
He also said the example of department and Heritage Council funding shows that “with a little bit of investment in our heritage that the community groups can do a tremendous amount with that funding”.
The Donegal Heritage Week event guide is available in tourism and council offices and online at www.donegal coco.ie/heritage.