The National Heritage Council is pleased to announce the eleven events that have been shortlisted for the National Heritage Week Awards 2019. The prestigious awards recognise the work of the heritage community in Ireland and showcase the best of National Heritage Week. The eleven events have been shortlisted across four categories, and highlight the dedication of individuals and communities to preserving and promoting Ireland’s heritage. The winners will be announced at the National Heritage Week Awards Ceremony, which will take place at the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, on Thursday 6th February. Details of the shortlisted projects are listed below.
Hidden Heritage Award
- ‘Look Out Post 76: An hut ar ghualainn an chnoic’ at Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal. The project explored the built and cultural heritage associated with Look-Out Post 76, which was constructed and occupied during ‘The Emergency’ (1939-1945). The event was narrated in Irish and shared previously undocumented stories from the families of men who had served in LOP 76, alongside stories gathered from the local community. The event gave a unique insight into the role that the LOPs and the Marine Coastwatching Service played in defending Ireland’s coastline during this period in history. It featured a commemorative ceremony, where families of men who had served in the Coastwatcher’s service during this period were presented with certificates; and a small exhibition.
- ‘Native Herbs’ at Athenry Castle, Co. Galway. The project focused on the plants growing around Athenry Castle and the importance of native herbs in the development of natural medicine, both historically and in present times. It comprised a talk on native herbs by Dr Clare Dilis, who also explored how local flowers provide an important food source to wildlife around the castle. A series of photographs continue to be collected and will culminate in an exhibition also featuring samples of local herbs and flowers to be displayed at the visitor’s centre.
- ‘Discover Day Place’ in Tralee, Co Kerry. The event shared the stories behind Day Place, Tralee’s first Georgian terrace. It enabled attendees to explore the origins and context of the terrace of houses using maps, archives, photography, literature, architectural drawings, and the buildings themselves to unravel the terrace’s origins and its past. The event also explored how to read and understand buildings – from classical forms to vernacular tradition, while telling stories about the buildings and love, political intrigue, local court cases and the loss of Tralee's river which was part of the terrace.
Heritage Communities Award
- ‘Stories, Music and Traditions of Donegal’ in the Rosses, Co. Donegal. The project comprised two full days of heritage and pastimes themed radio programming, bringing together heritage groups across the Rosses in west Donegal, and broadcasted to Donegal Diaspora worldwide. The programming featured live interviews with local people engaged in heritage projects, new documentaries, features on local National Heritage Week events, and the history of the Donegal music scene, and sports.
- ‘Programme of Heritage Week events’ in Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow. The project focused on making Heritage Week a cross-community event, by bringing together community groups from all walks of life with the common purpose of hosting events to highlight the built, natural and cultural heritage of the local Dunlavin community. Events included nature, sport, art and music workshops for children, family nature walks, scavenger hunts, historical walks and talks, and an exhibition of Dunlavin’s GAA memorabilia.
- ‘DVD production on history of Rosemount’ in Rosemount, Co. Westmeath. The project comprised the production of a thirty-two minute DVD, documenting the history of historical sites in the parish of Rosemount, using drone and camera footage of sites with accompanying narrative. Filming for the project took place over ten weeks, during which informative talks took place, and walks of historical sites in the area were organised, bringing together people of all ages from across the community.
Cool For Kids Awards
- ‘Wildlife Detective for Kids’ at the Clara Bog Visitor Centre, Co. Offaly. The dedicated children’s event involved a group field exercise during which participants were invited to help solve a simulated ‘wildlife crime’. Each member of the group was allocated a role in investigating a mock unlawful hunting incident on Clara Bog Nature Reserve and was presented with a series of clues to help solve the crime. The event focused on promoting knowledge and respect for wildlife conservation, the importance of protecting Irish species and habitats, the Wildlife Act and the role of Wildlife Rangers at Clara Bog.
- ‘Wild Child Bug Safari’ at the Nenagh Arts Centre, Co. Tipperary. The event for families explored the concept that the environment is part of local heritage, and comprised a bug safari tour of the new Castle Garden in Nenagh, led by wildlife enthusiast, horticulturist and environmentalist Albert Nolan. The event inspired attendees to think about wildlife, and to have an appreciation for their environment, by learning about insects, examining them, holding them, and releasing them back into the wild. The event focused on attracting families who do not usually engage in cultural activities, with large numbers of participants from international backgrounds attending.
- ‘Maths trail/tour of Ennis Friary’ at Ennis Friary, Co. Clare. The tour for families explored Ennis Friary through the medium of mathematics and comprised a trail to cater for children studying maths from fourth class to second year. It was developed to broaden the Friary’s appeal beyond being a heritage site, and to explore the use of maths taught in school today, alongside learning about the life and times of the medieval kings, stonemasons and friars associated with the site.
Le Cheile san Eorap Award
- ‘Myshall Muintir na Tìre, Carlow County Museum & the Myshall Community Centre - St Columbanus and the idea of Europe’ in Co. Carlow. The lecture event and pop-up exhibition explored the influence of St. Columbanus, the Patron Saint of Europe, and native of Myshall, Co. Carlow; and the start of what became the European Union. The pop-up exhibition included photographic displays of intercultural visits between members of Myshall Friends of Columbanus, and Friends of Columbanus Francaise and Italy, with a focus on the Columban Way which stretches from Myshall to Bangor, through England, France, Switzerland, and on to Bobbio in Italy.
- ‘Carrowmore Through the Ages’ at Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Co Sligo. The event focused on exploring the different time periods at the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery through a variety of short presentations to visitors at six points of the site. The presentations explored how the area was colonised by people from various countries throughout history, and that the origins of the site are not only Neolithic, but it has been an important place for people throughout pre-history and up to the present day, many coming from different corners of Europe and beyond.