National Heritage Week 2021
11 Aug 2021
National Heritage Week, coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, runs from Saturday 14th-Sunday 22nd August and is one of Ireland’s largest cultural events.
Under the theme, ‘Open the door to heritage’, heritage organisations and groups across the country are presenting online projects that are free to explore throughout National Heritage Week, with some in-person events also taking place, in line with public health guidelines.
Spanning natural, cultural and built heritage, projects aim to encourage ‘heritage newcomers’, as well as enthusiasts and experts, to engage with all aspects of Ireland’s heritage. Special emphasis has been placed on engaging individuals and groups who may not traditionally feel included in local heritage, or organising projects that speak to lesser-known aspects of local heritage.
Two themed days will take place during National Heritage Week. On Wednesday, 18th August, Wild Child Day encourages children and families to explore the heritage in their locality. On Sunday, 22nd August, the Heritage Council and the Local Authority Waters Programme invite people to explore National Heritage Week projects that celebrate water and our connections with it.
Commenting, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan said:
"Ireland’s heritage is as rich and diverse as contemporary Ireland itself. It is something that is shared by all of us and continually evolving. In this spirit, National Heritage Week is an opportunity to come together and rally around Ireland’s unique heritage. It is also a chance to show our appreciation for those who champion it at community, local and national level, ensuring its preservation, protection and celebration."
"I encourage people across Ireland to visit the National Heritage Week website and explore projects that might interest them, or find a local event to participate in. National Heritage Week is a special opportunity to reach out and connect with each other through Ireland’s wonderful, precious heritage.”
The Heritage Council has also announced details of the National Heritage Week Awards 2021, which recognises successful heritage projects showcased during this year’s National Heritage Week. Included in the seven award categories is a county award which recognise the best heritage project in each county. In addition to county awards, this year’s awards will have prizes for Heritage Hero, Heritage newcomers, Heritage sharing, Heritage for all ages, Water Heritage, Wild Child. All participants who successfully upload a heritage project on the National Heritage Week website by Monday, 30th August 2021 will be considered for a National Heritage Week Award.