News

National Heritage Week 2020

19 Jun 2020

The Heritage Council of Ireland invites communities, families and local groups across Ireland to explore heritage for National Heritage Week

In a modified National Heritage Week, which take into account ongoing restrictions on events and gatherings due to COVID-19, rather than focusing on the organisation of in-person public events, local heritage groups and organisers, families and communities are being invited to develop projects around this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’. 

Coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, National Heritage Week has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events, and will run this year from Saturday, 15th – Sunday, 23rd August.

The new approach is designed to promote the sharing of experience and knowledge. 

To support project organisers in arriving at an aspect of heritage that they might want to explore under this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’, three broad sub-themes can be considered for projects:

Heritage on your doorstep: Projects might research, and collect local knowledge about a monument or landmark; explore the origins of local customs or traditions and how these may have changed over time; examine how aspects of the local landscape, such as a canal, river or lake, have influenced a community; or capturing stories from local members of the community who have survived adversity (for example, the TB epidemic of the 1940s).

Relearning skills from our heritage: Projects could explore forgotten or overlooked skills with a view to sharing them among younger generations; document crafts, skills or trades that one’s community was previously well-known for; investigate traditional remedies unique to a locality which were used to treat common aches and pains, and record the stories of individuals who remember such remedies; research traditional food preparation or preservation methods throughout the ages.

The heritage of education: Projects might explore the history of an old school which has served many generations; better understand the role of a local hedge school; delve into the history of a monastic settlement; interrogate how the experience of going to school has evolved over time.In addition to developing new research, projects could also revisit or build on a heritage project which may already have been started at an individual, family or community level. In this instance, the National Heritage Week project could involve showcasing research already done on a monument, a waterway, or a skill or tradition in the community, and finding new ways to grow awareness of it. 

Expressions of interest and project ideas should be submitted to HeritageWeek.ie, and be carried out throughout June and July. Accepted formats for showcasing may vary from online talks or exhibitions, to a video, podcast, slideshow presentation or blog, to media coverage, a dedicated website or moderated social media account, or by means of small, restricted social gatherings, which comply with official public health advice.

Projects should be completed in time for National Heritage Week when they will be showcased. 

All projects submitted will be considered for a Heritage Week Award.

The Heritage Council is developing a suite of resources to support projects, which will be made available on HeritageWeek.ie