2015 Award Winners
The Heritage Council hosted the National Heritage Week Event Awards at the Heritage Council in June 2016. They showcased the best of National Heritage Week 2015 and recognising the fantastic work of all the event organisers and volunteers that took part.
Heritage Hero Award
The inaugural Heritage Hero Award celebrates someone who makes an outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of heritage, particularly during National Heritage Week.
The winner of the award, Mrs. Ursula Leslie of Tarbet, Co Kerry was nominated by the Tarbert Development Association. For the past forty years, Ursula has been a stalwart supporter of local initiatives to preserve and promote the unique heritage of Tarbert, North Kerry and West Limerick. As a founding member of the American-Ireland Fund, she has helped local heritage tourism projects including the Lartigue Railway Museum, the St. John’s Arts Centre in Listowel, the Hunt Museum in Limerick, and the Tarbert Bridewell Heritage Centre.
Twenty years ago, she and her late husband, John, opened up the parklands surrounding their home for public access. The John F. Leslie Woodland Walk as it is now known is a wonderful local amenity that is greatly appreciated and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
“Too often the work of those in the heritage sector goes unrecognized and we want to try to address that. We are delighted to recognize the work and contribution of Ursula Leslie with this inaugural award. Ursula’s long standing contribution to her community, her positive influence on the area, her generosity in using her own home and the long term impact of her work makes her a worthy winner.” Heritage Council Chairman, Conor Newman.
Hidden Heritage Award
This award shines a light on Ireland’s hidden heritage and was open to event organisers who successfully explored lesser known aspects of Ireland’s heritage during National Heritage Week.
Hidden Heritage Award Winner
Celebrating Ellen Hutchins Festival
The Celebrating Ellen Hutchins Festival organised by the Bantry Historical Society and the National Parks and Wildlife Service in Co. Cork was designed to commemorate Ireland’s first female botanist, Ellen Hutchins. It celebrated Ellen’s life and work on the 200th anniversary of her death in 1815. Despite dying aged only 29 she made a significant contribution to the field of botany, discovering many species new to science, particularly in the more difficult plant groups i.e. bryophytes, lichens and algae.
Ellen herself had been largely forgotten by history. The festival explored all aspects of her life and work. The festival organisers brought prints of Ellen’s botanical drawings from Kew Gardens back to Ireland for the first time for an exhibition in Bantry House.
Hidden Heritage Shortlist
The Coppeen Archaeological Historical & Cultural Society in Co. Cork worked for over two years, restoring a ruin of a forge which was run by same family for seven generations.
Green Door 2015
Green Door 2015 brought the people of Leitrim into heritage buildings that have been renovated for contemporary living and to show examples of restored traditional Irish cottages.
Reaching Out Award
The Reaching Out Award celebrates events that reached out to new audiences. This award was open to event organisers who helped more people enjoy National Heritage Week.
Reaching Out Award Winner
Chinese Day Out in the Boyne Valley
This year the award was won by the Kells Tourism Forum who partnered with the Ireland China Culture Association to organise a day out for the Chinese community in the Boyne Valley, Co Meath. The aim was to make the first Chinese Day Out in the Boyne Valley accessible, easy and fun. Over 65 people enjoyed a great day which saw them visit Kells, the Spire of Lloyd , Loughcrew , Trim Castle and Kiltale farm.
Reaching Out Award Shortlist
A Walk with a Difference
The Walk with a Difference was organised by the Burrenbeo Trust to make the Burren and its heritage accessible to those that often have problem accessing spaces. Burrenbeo Trust carried it out in association with the Irish Wheelchair Association. ‘I have seen the Burren from the car once, but it was great to actually get out onto and see the plants and butterflies.’
Circus Arts and Crafts
This event was designed to accompany the John Mac Charity circus poster collection at the Hunt Museum and allowed groups to interact with the exhibition in an engaging and interactive way. The groups worked with were The Brother of Charity, Castletroy and Limerick Youth Service.
Cool for Kids Award
The Cool for Kids Award celebrates great family events. This award was open to event organisers who encouraged children and families to participate in National Heritage Week.
Cool for Kids Award Winner
The West Inishowen History and Heritage Society Family Fun Day
The West Inishowen History and Heritage Society helped children and families to engage with their local history and heritage in fun and interactive ways and included an archaeology dig with a local archaeologist, weaving cloth, writing with a quill pen and dressing up in Viking costume.
Cool for Kids Award Shortlist
Printfest – Family Fun Day
The National Print Museum’s Printfest Family Fun Day aimed to welcome and encourage families and children to experience and enjoy the history and heritage of the traditional craft of letterpress printing.
A Medieval Day Out at Old Mellifont Abbey
The OPW at Mellifont Abbey, Co. Louth ran a day of activities inspired by medieval culture including archery, painting clay tiles and a treasure hunt.
Athenry’s Industrial and Design Heritage
Roisin Feeney of Athenry Castle created an event to engage children and families with Athenry castle and its history based on the popular Minecraft game.