​20 free things to do on the second weekend of Heritage Week!

It’s the final weekend of National Heritage Week 2019, but don’t worry because there are still plenty of exciting events taking place right across the country! So make sure to take the opportunity this weekend to delve into Ireland’s Pastimes | Past Times and get involved in a Heritage Week activity near you, such as tracing your family tree; spending an evening at a pop-up Gaeltacht; or taking part in a Viking Heritage Day!

Here’s just a small flavour of some of the Heritage Week events taking place across Ireland this weekend.

Saturday, 24th August

1. Tracing your family tree, Co Clare

Are you interesting in tracing your family tree? Well this workshop is the perfect opportunity to learn about the resources which can help you start or continue your research. This event will take from 10am to 12pm in the back room of Minogue’s Pub in Tulla. More information is available here.

2. Whale Watch Ireland 2019, Co Antrim

Celebrate All-Ireland Whale Watch Day with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group along the Portrush Coastal Zone in Co. Antrim. While there are no guarantees of sightings, given reasonable weather you have a good chance of seeing some of the marine species that can be viewed locally. So pack your binoculars, your sense of humour and refreshments for this family friendly field event which runs from 2pm to 5pm. More information is available here.

3. Cavan and the War of Independence, Co Cavan

Come along to this Laragh Heritage Association exhibition about local involvement in the War of Independence. Why not stay after and enjoy a talk by Johann Farrelly, the author of ‘A History of County Cavan’s Revolution 1912 – 1923’. This event will take place at Stradone Community Centre from 12pm to 6pm. More information is available here.

4. Pop up Gaeltacht, Dublin City

Drop in and enjoy an evening of live traditional Irish music, and why not try a cupla focal with Irish speakers of all levels from 7pm to 9pm in Dublin’s Buswells Hotel on Molesworth Street. More information is available here.

5. NUI, Galway Zoology Museum Visit, Galway City

A perfect opportunity to get the family together and learn about a wide variety of animals in Galway's 'Dead Zoo'! This event will take place on August 24th from 11am to 12.15pm and 12.30pm to 1.45pm. More information is available here.

6. Gardening for Biodiversity, Co Leitrim

Join Sarah Rubalcava and Rubalcava Heritage Services at the Bee Park Resource Centre, Manorhamilton for a fun and relaxed morning where you can learn how to encourage and protect local wildlife in your garden and how to help bees and butterflies by growing the right selection of flowers. This event will take place from 10am to 1.00pm. More information is available here.

7. Hill of Slane: Free Tours, Co Meath

Visit the Hill of Slane this weekend and hear the story of St. Patrick, the first Slane Castle and much more. The free guided tour starts from the Hill of Slane car park at 2pm and will take roughly an hour to complete. More information is available here.

8. Dig it: Archaeology for children, Co Roscommon

"Dig It" at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, is a fun, educational, hands-on archaeological experience for kids over 3, where they will get the opportunity to carry out a "mini excavation” and meet some real-life archaeologists. The activities will run from 11am to 4.30pm. More information is available here.

9. The Earl of Meath’s Liberty, Co Wicklow

Genealogist and lecturer, Sean J Murphy, will present a fascinating talk on the Earl of Meath and how the Brabazon family were involved with the development of The Liberties in Dublin. A complimentary house tour will follow the talk which will take place between 12pm and 1pm. More information is available here.

10. Tea and Tour of Bessmount Park, Co Monaghan

Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to tour one of Monaghan's hidden gems; a house with a three-hundred-year history, from Georgian to Gothic Revival. Hear the many fascinating stories of families, architecture, local and social history. Tours will run hourly from 10am to 5pm. More information is available here.

Sunday, 25th August

11. The Heritage of Kilbarron Castle, Co Donegal

Celebrate the heritage of Kilbarron Castle, a bardic school which ran from the 14th until the 17th Century. Come along and enjoy a visit to the castle and a talk on the history and ecology of the coastal area. This event will take place from 1pm to 6pm. More information is available here.

12. Ardfert’s Hidden Gem, Co Kerry

Explore Ardfert's hidden gem, the Friary, with a local guide and learn all about its unique architectural features and connection with local families, the Fitzmaurice’s and the Crosbie’s. The tour starts at 3pm from the car park adjacent to Ardfert Friary and finishes at 4.15pm. More information is available here.

13. Falconry Display and Craft Fair, Co Kildare

Newgrange Falconry will be displaying birds of prey in the church grounds of Christchurch, Celbridge beside the Castletown Gates between 2pm and 5pm. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to get out for an afternoon. A craft fair in the Parish Hall will also take place as well tours of the church itself. More information is available here.

14. Tales by the Fireside, Co Laois

Come along and listen to several tales, old and not so old alike, while the turf fire crackles in the background. This family friendly session will have something for everyone both young and young at heart alike. This event will take place from 7pm to 8.30pm. More information is available here.

15. Mellifont Medieval Tile Painting, Co Louth

Take time this weekend to decorate a handmade copy of some of the wonderful medieval tiles found during the site excavations at the Old Mellifont Abbey. Choose from several beautiful designs to recreate a finished tile for you to take home. This event will take place from 10am to 12.30pm. More information is available here.

16. Storytelling: Children’s Stories, Co Tipperary

Call into Annexe Damer House in Roscrea and join in with a storytelling session from a collection of rare old children's tales, including the story of 'Damer's Gold'. This event will start at 3pm and runs until 5pm. More information is available here.

17. Tour of Columb Barracks: Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Enjoy this tour which will explore the rich heritage of Mullingar's former army barracks, which is over 200 years old and has played an important part in the life of the town. The tour will start form the main gate at 3pm and will run until 6.30pm. More information is available here.

18. Monksgrange 250 – Garden Open Day, Co Wexford

This open day at Monksgrange Garden will include a talk by garden historian and architect Patrick Bowe, followed by a guided tour by Jeremy Hill. Sheltered by woodland, the garden contains a stunning collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, specimen trees and shrubs. If you are in the area make sure to call by between 2pm to 6pm. More information is available here.

19. Viking Heritage Day on the Greenway, Co Waterford

Get the whole family together for Viking Heritage Day at Woodstown on the Waterford Greenway. Explore a Viking craft village, take part in guided walks, be part of Viking battles and even be an archaeologist for a day. Activities kick off at 10.30am and will run until 4.30pm. More information is available here.

20. Forest of Ferbane Tour, Co Offaly

Come along to this walking tour hosted by Ferbane Tidy Towns and visit some of the key trees and woodlands of Ferbane. The Forest of Ferbane is an ongoing project by Ferbane Tidy Towns to raise awareness of trees and an urban forest in the town. A short tour accessible tour in the town (45mins) will commence at 4pm, followed by a longer tour (45mins) on through fields and woodland paths. More information is available here.

National Heritage Week takes place from 17th – 25th August 2019 with a wide array of events happening across Ireland, come and see what's on near you.

Cover photo courtesy of Celbridge Heritage Group.