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National Heritage Week Awards

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

For National Heritage Week 2020, all participants who successfully upload a completed project on the Heritage Week website will be considered for a National Heritage Week award.

This marks a departure from previous years, when National Heritage Week participants were asked to submit an entry for the awards scheme, following the execution of their Heritage Week event.

Reflecting the approach to National Heritage Week 2020, this year, awards will be made under six categories. For the first time, the categories will include a county award, celebrating the best project submitted in each county.

The awards will be announced in October 2020.

Award categories

Heritage Hero: 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 in late August.

Heritage on your doorstep: awarded to the heritage project that best explores an aspect of heritage – natural, built or cultural – in a locality, and which is shared with the wider community.

Relearning skills from our heritage: awarded to the project that best explores heritage skills, crafts or traditions in a locality, and which is shared with the wider community.

The heritage of education: awarded to the project that best explores the history of education in a place of learning in a locality, and which is shared with the wider community.

Water heritage: awarded to the project that best explores how a canal, river, lake or the sea shapes an important part of the heritage in a locality, and which is shared with the wider community.

County award: for the first time, the Heritage Council will 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 2020, 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 2020.

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