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National Heritage Week 2022 County Winners

Heritage Week Day 83 1

This year, the Heritage Council once again recognised the efforts of individuals, families and community groups to ensure the preservation, protection and promotion of Ireland’s built, natural and cultural heritage. The County Award category was presented to the most successful heritage event or project from each local authority.

For their event, Rathanna National School: Memories of our School Days, Rathanna Irish Countrywomen's Association invited members of the community to meet up to discuss their memories of Rathanna N.S. (now Rathanna Community Hall). The school operated from 1883-1969, and the group’s aim was to gather photographic, written and oral information from past pupils of the school and members of the community. They will use this information to produce a written and / or digital document in the future.


The Cavan County Heritage Office in association with Templeport Development Association, Jampa Ling Buddhist Centre, Drumlane History and Heritage Group and Killeshandra Tidy Towns hosted an event series called Footprints of the Past to celebrate local churches and other historic sites through mixed media art responses.


Connecting Communities with Peatlands invited people for a Walk and Talk on Shanakyle Bog in partnership with the Shanakyle Bog Restoration Project. The bog was partially restored and rewetted in 2021 and this event was an opportunity to share the importance of this work with community members.

Cork City

Douglas Tidy towns hosted a series of natural heritage events, including a biodiversity walk, a foraging walk, a river walk with water sampling, and a talk on Irish garden birds.

Cork County

Ted Cook led a series of events focusing on ecological restoration, trees and aquatic systems, and wildlife corridors.


Derry City and Strabane District Council shared a series of virtual tours, videos and exhibitions exploring local history, from archaeological finds to walled city history to military heritage.


Síle Uí Fhearraigh’s Irish language event, Turas na dTithe Oidhreachta, or Heritage Houses Tour, visited three historic houses in the Tirconaill Gaeltacht, presenting interesting histories, architectural and placename conservation efforts, as well as craft and music demonstrations.

Dublin City

During Middle Ages to Middle Aisle: The Archaeology beneath Lidl, Aungier St, IAC Archaeology gave a guided tour of the medieval Church of St Peter, a sunken house of Viking descendants and a once opulent theatre, all preserved beneath the Lidl in Dublin 2.

Dunlin Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

The Marley Grange Residents’ Association presented a Citizen Science River Workshop, all about the aquatic life in the Little Dargle River through a family friendly sampling survey. Kids got the chance to look for aquatic invertebrates and learn about the health of the river and biodiversity.

Dublin Fingal

The EIRE 6 Restoration group led a walk on talk on the history, restoration and importance of ecology during their Heritage Week Howth event. Their aim is to promote awareness of the WWII Neutrality sign and of Howth in general.

Dublin South

During St Finian’s Medieval Church and Graveyard by Night, the Society for Old Lucan hosted an evening workshop of the church and graveyard, speaking about the history and biodiversity of the site. They demonstrated night-time photography methods and gave participants a chance to test out lowlighting smartphone camera work. They also had a bat detector on site to hear bats’ ultrasound calls.

Galway City

Philip James led a Walk and Talk about Galway’s 1000 Year History of Canal Building and Milling
through the streets of Galway city. He explored prominent water-powered businesses, the technology they used, and the families they involved.

Galway County

An Bhean Ghlúine launched a short film, Life from a Midwife’s Bag, introducing midwives from the early 20th century and showcasing their courageous work at a time when childbirth came with much uncertainty. Emma Laffey also presented podcasts and an e-book on this subject to share stories, photographs and other memorabilia.


Kerry Biosphere presented Life in the Bogs: Family Funday in Killarney, including activities about bog plants, pond dipping, native animals, and more.


As part of their Tidy Towns Biodiversity Action Plan, Kilcullen Community Action left areas of grass to grow to promote wildflower growth. During Scything Skills on Nicholastown Green, they scythed these areas to promote these heritage skills.


St. Canice’s Cathedral provided a series of events from tours of the site for children and Junior Certificate students to a Wild Child programme on Irish saints and biodiversity.


Errill Tidy Towns erected a commemorative plaque and seat on the 175th anniversary of the great famine during Famine Pot Project Phase One. These were placed near what was once a soup kitchen during the famine.


The Leitrim Sweathouse Project hosted Ask About Archaeology, during which the project coordinator was on hand to answer questions from visitors of all ages about the site and its research.


Askeaton Ballysteen Community Council held workshops in Askeaton exploring water quality and biodiversity of the River Deel and the Shannon and Deel Estuary. Participants learned how to make a difference for local waterbodies and a community water biodiversity action plan will be created.


The Knights and Conquests Heritage Centre hosted Norman People with reenactments, living history, a market, crafts and more. They also held a Michael Collins Commemoration to celebrate the hometown of his fiancée.


Brian Larkin marked the 70th Anniversary of the Closure of the LNWR Railway in Greenore with a presentation and a walk and talk in the Victorian Village.


Louisburgh-Killeen Heritage hosted a Foraging Walk on Cross Strand, discussing local seaweeds and wildlife on the beach. Participants experienced the clean waters of Clew Bay and awakened their inner Wild Child.


Paul Kerr welcomed Maurice O’Keeffe of Irish Life and Lore for an Oral Recording at Heritage Park and 7 Arch Bridge. He recorded oral history including scythe cutting and the use of hand implements, the Irish Traveller community, music and other traditions.


The Irish Wildlife Trust Monaghan Branch and the Local Authority Waters Programme hosted Creative Heritage Inspired by Nature and its Music to explore some of the ways the sound of nature has influenced Irish creative culture. Attendees heard from recordist Dean McDonnell, who is documenting Ireland’s habitats and wildlife across the north-east. Writer and medieval Irish scholar, Fearghal Duffy, shared his learnings on the ecology of early Irish literature, whilst local musicians played tunes inspired by the Irish countryside.


Community groups connected by the River Brosna came together to celebrate the cultural and natural heritage of the river by hosting a Literary and Music Festival at Clara House, put on by the Clara Heritage Society. The festival featured a musical performance inspired by the river. It also showcased spoken word, poetry, and children’s workshops.


The Rathcroghan Visitor Centre hosted ‘Idols and Unclean Things’, a conference and photography exhibition on the Gortnacrannagh Figure, an eight-foot-tall Iron Age wooden figure archaeologists discovered in 2021.


Moygara Castle Research and Conservation Project showcased Moygara Castle Conservation Works, which began in 2021. Visitors could see the progress they made in preserving this historic site.


The Tipperary Town Revitalisation Heritage Group hosted a series of events, including a documentary film about the Tipperary glove factories and a workshop that gave young people a chance to share their thoughts about revitalising the historic town centre.


The Copper Coast Geopark hosted an event series covering the Copper Coast’s geological story, mining heritage, a coastal walk and tours of new material in their visitor centre.


ETHOS offered a walk through the Cloncrow Raised Bog with ecologist George Smith, who highlighted native plants and conservation efforts. The group also took a historic tour of the village of Tyrrellspass.


The Ahare River and Biodiversity Development Group hosted the Castletown River and Nature Festival. Families participated in moth monitoring, a seashore nature treasure hunt and litter pick, a sand art competition, and much more.


The Roundwood and District Historical Society gave presentations on the research around Castlekevin, an Anglo-Norman castle in the Wicklow Mountains. They are also working on a conservation plan for the site.