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August 13, 2020
Heritage enthusiasts and experts encouraged to explore digital heritage week projects for National Heritage Week 2020

Heritage enthusiasts will be able to browse online projects created for this year’s National Heritage Week from Saturday, 15th August, which marks the start of Heritage Week 2020. Responding to this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’, the projects have been developed by local heritage groups and organisers, families and communities across the country.

Coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, National Heritage Week has become Ireland’s largest cultural event. This year’s programme, which will run until Sunday, 23rd August, is a largely online affair, because of restrictions on in-person events and gatherings due to COVID-19. The new approach is also designed to promote the sharing of experience and knowledge.

Based on this year’s theme, projects were developed around three broad sub-themes: heritage of your doorstep; heritage and education; and relearning skills from our heritage. All projects shared via the Heritage week website before the end of August will be considered for a National Heritage Week Award.

National Heritage Week projects have embraced a variety of digital and online formats, providing innovative ways to explore Ireland’s diverse heritage – from online talks and exhibitions, to virtual tours, podcasts, videos and blogs. This focus brings communities together by allowing the public to discover and explore national and local heritage treasures from their own homes.

Speaking in advance of National Heritage Week, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD said: “National Heritage Week is always a highly anticipated event in Ireland’s cultural calendar and I’m delighted to see an alternative version take place this year. It has been heartening to see individuals, families, community groups and larger organisations come together to work on digital heritage projects, which ensure the stories of Ireland’s rich and varied natural, built and cultural heritage are shared, particularly between generations.

“I would like to thank everyone who has put their time and energy into working on a National Heritage Week project, particularly against the challenging backdrop this year: your dedication to Ireland’s heritage is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to logging on and browsing the projects during the week. For anyone with an interest in any aspect of Ireland’s heritage – newcomer and novice, or enthusiast and expert alike – I encourage you to visit the National Heritage Week website and virtually explore your unique local heritage.”

CEO of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan added: “This year in particular, National Heritage Week offers a moment for community engagement and social cohesion. With so many of us holidaying at home, National Heritage Week offers new ideas and experiences to build on our renewed interest in heritage. The projects showcased give us all the opportunity to reflect on our heritage, and to learn something about our past that can perhaps influence our future. I invite people across the country to visit heritageweek.ie, browse the extensive range of heritage projects on which people have worked tirelessly – and see what small events may be taking place in their area – and connect with their local heritage.”

For more information on National Heritage Week projects, events near you and online events, visit www.heritageweek.ie.

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