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National Heritage Awards

The Heritage Council's National Heritage Awards celebrate the most engaging projects organised by National Heritage Week project organisers.

For National Heritage Week 2021, all participants who successfully upload a completed project on the National Heritage Week website will be considered for a National Heritage Week award.

Reflecting the approach to National Heritage Week 2021, this year, awards will be made under seven categories.

The awards will be announced on 20th October 2021 via our online awards ceremony.

Award categories

Heritage Hero Award: this title will be awarded to an individual or organisation that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of heritage in Ireland. Awards will be made based on nominations submitted. Anyone can nominate a Heritage Hero, and nominations will open after National Heritage Week.

Heritage newcomers:
awarded to the individual or group who have not previously participated in National Heritage Week, and who demonstrated considerable interest and innovation in their first encounter with the week.

Heritage sharing:
awarded to the project which connected with an individual or a group in the community who traditionally do not feel included in local heritage; or a project which explored an aspect of local heritage that is seldom considered or celebrated.

Heritage for all ages: awarded to a National Heritage Week project which successfully included participants from different age groups.

Wild Child: awarded to a project that successfully encouraged kids and families to drop the devices, jump off the couch and get outdoors to explore the heritage in their locality.

Water heritage:
awarded to the project that best explored how a canal, river, lake or the sea shaped the heritage in a locality, and which is shared with the wider community.

County award:
This year will once again see the Heritage Council award a National Heritage Week County award to the best project in each county.

Award criteria

All submitted projects will be considered on the basis of their fulfilment of the criteria established for National Heritage Week 2021, as follows:

  • Community engagement: has the project maximised engagement with the local community?
  • Cross-generational collaboration: has the project brought different generations together to share knowledge and skills?
  • Awareness-raising: is there a clear plan for growing awareness of the project at community-level and beyond?
  • Existing networks / resources: has the project organiser(s) drawn on heritage organisations and resources (websites, guides, etc) to inform their project?

All projects must also clearly promote at least one aspect of natural, cultural or built heritage, and have a clear educational value by helping people to engage with and find out more about heritage.

A judging panel, convened by the Heritage Council, will consider submitted heritage projects for awards under the categories listed above. Awards will be announced in October 2021.

If you have any questions about the National Heritage Week Awards, please contact heritageweek@heritagecouncil.ie.

Nominate your Heritage Hero

The Heritage Council launched the search for Ireland’s ‘heritage hero’ for 2021 in August.

The public were invited to nominate who they feel was deserving of the award by completing a Heritage Hero nomination form. Nominations closed at 12 noon on Monday, 20th September. The winner will be announced on October 20th at the National Heritage Week Awards Ceremony.