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National Heritage Week 2020 County Winners


The efforts of individuals, families and community groups from across the island to ensure the preservation, protection and promotion of Ireland’s built, natural and cultural heritage were recognised at the National Heritage Awards 2020. Hosted by the Heritage Council, the event took place virtually and was presented by RTÉ broadcaster, Anne Cassin.

Discover 36 fascinating projects worthy of attention from all around the nation

Couny Antrim

Project: Mapping Places Exploring “Heritage on Our Doorsteps” through Maps
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Organised by Heritage Hub at Queen’s University Belfast, the project offers a way to use maps to orientate ourselves to the past.

County Carlow

Project: Education through the ages in Myshall Parish
Theme: The heritage of education
About: Myshall Muintir Na Tíre Community Group focused on the heritage of education in the area and produced a daily video spotlighting an aspect of the rich educational history of the area.

County Cavan

Project: Meet the Caretakers
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Cavan's Historic Graveyard Network presented 'Meet the Caretakers': three short videos of the people who look after, protect, research and promote their local historic graveyards in the county, and who are doing invaluable work.

County Clare

Project: Clarecastle on film in the 1950s
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Clarecastle and Ballyea Heritage and Wildlife Group discovered and restorated of old cine-film taken in Clarecastle in the 1950s, which shows aspects of the village that have changed and, in particular, the unloading of ships at Clarecastle Quay.

Cork City

Project: Cork Jewish Heritage Virtual Walk
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: At its height, in around 1915, the Cork Jewish community had about 450 members. Most of these were from families who had left Lithuania in search of a better life. The Cork synagogue opened its doors in 1891, and closed in 2016.

County Cork

Project: A Decade of Celebrating Heritage of Bantry
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: The Bantry Historical and Archaeological Society looked back at all the events they have organised over the past eleven years for National Heritage Week and showcased their work and the rich heritage of the Bantry area to new audiences.

County Derry

Project: Horrible Histories of Lough Neagh
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Exploring the intangible culture of the area around Lough Neagh, from medieval times to the modern day, the project uses tales from the Middle Ages, place and personal names, historical records and orally collected traditions.

County Down

Project: Uncovering Monuments in the Ulster Landscape
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: This project highlights the work of the Ulster Archaeological Society and its members in researching and understanding monuments in the landscape to allow the public to learn more.

Co Donegal

Project: Stories in our ... lockdown project
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Donegal G.A.P. Heritage and History Group responded to pandemic restrictions by posting objects, places or events relating to culture and heritage on their Facebook page (Donegal GAP Heritage), to connect people to their local history.

Dublin City

Project: Wordsteps – The Grand Canal, Dublin
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: A sound art work by Camilla Fanning designed to be listened to via headphones. As you walk the canal, you hear the words, thoughts and stories from voices from the present and the past.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

Project: Airfield Dromartin Jersey Herd - Butter Making
Theme: Relearning skills from our heritage
About: Airfield Estate has been home to the award winning Dromartin Jersey Herd for over a century. Join Airfield’s team and explore the heritage of their famous herd.


Project: Snapshots of Fingal’s Past
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: This heritage project from Fingal County Council takes the form of an online exhibition featuring the stories of people, places, sports and traditions submitted by the people of Fingal.

Dublin South

Project: Traditional Sheep Farming and Sheepdog Training
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: A video presenting an element of intangible cultural heritage, using sheepdogs to manage sheep in the hills above Tallaght. It is remarkable that these skills and this way of life still exists so close to the urban edge of Dublin city.

County Fermanagh

Project: Remembering the Landscape - Cuilcagh to Cleenish: A Great Place
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: The project is a short celebratory film showcasing the area’s landscape and heritage from Cuilcagh Mountain to the shores of Upper Lough Erne, bringing it to the attention of a wider audience.

County Galway

About: Milltown’s Heritage Food Project
Theme: The heritage of education
About: Milltown Heritage Group got local school children to gather family stories and recipes on local food heritage, some of which go back generations. The National Folklore Collection accepted these into their archive.

Galway City

Project: Exploring Mammals in Merlin Woods
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
Project: Using a variety of techniques, Ruth Hanniffy,Vincent Wildlife Trust, brings us on a journey around Merlin Woods exploring the varying habitats needed by our local mammals.

County Kerry

Project: Young Explorer with Neil Hyland
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: 12-year-old Neil Hyland explores his local area of Caherdaniel, Co Kerry. Delivered online through website and social media channels, the Young Explorer project visits and uncovers the local history of his area.

County Kildare

Project: The Irish Draught Horse Yesterday and Today
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Discover the story of the Irish Draught Horse and its journey from being the mainstay on small farms, travel and military, to its present role as a leisure horse and ambassador for Ireland.

County Kilkenny

Project: Back to the Past, Valuing Water in the Community
Theme: Relearning skills from our heritage
About: Tullahought Community Development’s project explores how past generations accessed water in the home and on the farm in an era prior to water schemes and private wells.

County Laois

Project: Killabban Monastic Site
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Killabban Monastery Restoration Committee set out to involve the local community in the recognition of a unique monastic site, which, prior to 2012 lay derelict and in ruins.

County Leitrim

Project: Back to the future through Memories and Songs
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Due to lockdown life, Fionnuala Maxwell wanted to bridge the digital divide for cocooning citizens. She introduced Zoom conversations as a way to tell stories of growing up in rural Ireland and the changes people have witnessed from the 1930s.

County Limerick

Project: An audio-visual tour of Knockfierna
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Knockfierna Heritage Society created a virtual walking tour of Knockfierna to provide an overview of its rich historical and cultural importance.

County Longford

Project: Rath Mhuire Men’s Club – let me tell you!
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: 17 men in the club used local knowledge and skills to collect objects from the past and record their knowledge to create a presentation of old and unusual objects, implements and artefacts of bygone times.

County Louth

Project: A glimpse behind the shopfront
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust exhibited 40 photographs of shops and businesses from the past, to tell the story of the role of the shop and local business in the life of the small rural town from the end of the 19th century up to the 1970s.

County Mayo

Project: Mulranny down through the decades
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Collecting photos and objects from people from their 20s to their 80s resulted in a free exhibition at Mulranny Community Centre during Heritage Week, as well as on the Mulranny Facebook page where new photos are uploaded every week.

County Meath

Project: Meath Travellers workshop photo exhibition, pack and DVD
Theme: The heritage of education
About: The exhibition provided visitors with an opportunity to look into the lives of Travellers over the past six decades, their struggles and achievements. A Traveller Cultural Information Pack was also launched.

County Meath

Project: Boyne Currach Heritage Group
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: An online presentation featuring projects that the Boyne Currach Heritage Group has facilitated or participated in over the last few years, accompanied by fiddle music from Athena Tergis.

County Monaghan

Project: Sharing school and church memories across the generations
Theme: The heritage of education
About: St. Salvator’s church youth interviewed their grandparents or older members of family and recorded their early memories of school and church. It is vital as many locations mentioned have closed as the Church of Ireland population declines.

County Offaly

Project: Lighting up the night
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival celebrated the built environment of the heritage town of Birr, breathed life into the buildings and stories of the town, and encouraged the community to connect with the architecture and its narrative.

County Roscommon

Projects: Back to the drawing board with a teacher from Kilteevan, Remembering teachers who taught in Kilteevan schools from their memorials, and Bringing Kilteevan Schools Folklore Collection to the parish audience
Theme: The heritage of education
About: Kilteevan Graveyard Committee created three interconnected projects tracing the family history of a teacher who was born in Kilteevan, looking at teachers who taught in parish schools and who are named in Kilteevan graveyard, plus the contribution to the National Folklore Collection 1937-1938.

County Sligo

Project: The Rosses Point coastal way project
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: A walking route marked by a series of nine interpretive panels located along the 2km of coastal paths of Rosses Point. The way encourages the exploration and enjoyment of the natural, historical and cultural heritage of this beautiful area.

County Tipperary

Project: A harvest knot for lughnasa
Theme: Relearning skills from our heritage
About: Lughnasa is traditionally marked by communities working together to bring in the harvest. A time of celebration, fairs, dancing and family gatherings. At Nenagh Arts Centre, along with the making of the straw cailleach, harvest knots and love favours were created.

County Tyrone

Project: If stones could speak – The archaeological landscape of Tyrone
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: A new exhibition at the Alley Theatre, Strabane, it showcases ancient monuments such as court tombs, standing stones accompanied by funerary bowls and flint which dots the landscape of this area. A key item on display is an ancient log boat from Clady.

County Waterford

Project: Knockboy ogham stones
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: Knockboy is a unique and intriguing site which has seven ogham stones, six of which are built into the 14th-century church. The church and ogham stones have also been recorded in 3D by Simon Dowling and have been added to the Ogham in 3D website.

County Westmeath

Project: Creating the voices of generations gone
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: The Mount Temple Baylin Heritage Group created a video looking at the fading skills of the smith, through interviews with Ernie Hatton and his brother George, who learned from their father in their smithy close to Moydrum Castle.

County Wexford

Project: Courtown Woods – our heritage
Theme: Relearning skills from our heritage
About: Local Seanchai Lorraine from Gallivanting.ie explores the wonders of Courtown Woods. A short film examines how different civilisations have interacted with these landscapes throughout the ages, and explores how we can learn from the wisdom of our ancestors.

County Wicklow

Project: Glendalough Heritage Forum: short films, website, promoting heritage
Theme: Heritage at your doorstep
About: The group has commissioned short films to promote understanding of the area’s cultural heritage.