National Heritage Week – an annual celebration of our natural, built and cultural heritage – is currently underway across Ireland, taking place from the 12th to the 20th of August.

This year’s theme, ‘Living Heritage’, focuses on the rich mosaic of traditional practices, knowledge, arts and skills, that have been passed down from generation to generation, and continue to thrive today.

Living Heritage is at the heart of Ireland’s cultural identity, with an array of events and activities taking place which showcase the enduring traditions that connect us to our roots.

Key events, include:

·       An opportunity to delve into the history of hurling with Professor Paul Rouse of UCD as he explores the history of this beloved national sport as well as the Shinrone hurl, believed to be one of the oldest in Offaly.

gray rock formation under blue sky during daytime
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·       The intricate craftsmanship of dry stone walling at Kilskyre, Kells Co. Meath, where a Dry Stone Retaining Wall Project is reaching its completion.

Living Heritage takes centre stage for this year’s National Heritage Week 1
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·       An opportunity to witness the intricate skills of tinsmithing with Traveller tinsmith James Collins at Collins Barracks.

Living Heritage takes centre stage for this year’s National Heritage Week 3
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·       An exploration of the delicate artistry of Limerick Lace at the “Bring out your Lace” event.

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·       The National Print Museum hosting a captivating journey into typography and design at the Strange Type & Odd Sorts event.

Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, expressed enthusiasm for this year’s theme, saying:

National Heritage Week provides us all with an opportunity to immerse ourselves in our living heritage.

I encourage everyone to take up this opportunity to come together as communities to share, learn, and celebrate the remarkable traditions that shape our lives.

From traditional crafts to historical insights, this year’s events are a testament to the resilience and continuity of our living heritage.

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As part of National Heritage Week – which is coordinated by the Heritage Council – Wild Child Day takes place on Saturday, August 19th, with children invited to unleash their curiosity and sense of adventure through a series of family-friendly events that celebrate the great outdoors, nature, and biodiversity.

This day aims to foster a deep connection between the younger generation and the natural world.

Concluding the week on Sunday, August 20th, Water Heritage Day pays tribute to water as an integral part of our natural heritage.

Enjoy boat tours, embark on river walks, attend marine biodiversity talks, and let your children’s creativity flow at captivating workshops.

white and red boat on brown sand during daytime
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To explore the full spectrum of National Heritage Week events and activities, visit the official website at heritageweek.ie.

The website provides a comprehensive guide to events taking place across Ireland and allows you to filter by county or event type to find experiences that resonate with you.

Additionally, the Department maintains the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which catalogues living cultural practices, arts and traditions in Ireland that have received official State recognition through their inscription on the Inventory.

More information on these 38 inscribed practices is available here.

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