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National Heritage Week 2023 County Winners

County Award Winners image

As part of the National Heritage Week Awards ceremony, the winners of the county awards for the entire island were announced. These are event or projects that are recognised as the best events in each county where individuals, community groups, charity's and other groups created and run created events to ensure the preservation and promotion of Ireland's natural, built and cultural heritage. Explore the fill list of winners here.

ARMAGH Placenames are our Stroytellers
An evening of stories, language, music and social history exploring the living heritage of the local community through its townlands.

The History of the Ambulance Service
Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society offered participants a chance to find out about its local ambulance service down through the decades. In 1864 it consisted of two horse drawn vehicles.

The Spirit of Kilmore
Choirs, soloists, the Mullaghboy Accordion Band, uillean piper Daniel Brady and reed organ restorer Fr Darragh Connolly provided beautiful music in the beautiful surrounds of Kilmore cathedral.

The Spirit of Kilmore event Cavan
The Spirit of Kilmore event

Clarecastle and Ballyea Our Living Heritage
Clarecastle and Ballyea Heritage and Wildlife Group organised an exhibition celebrating 60 years of Tidy Towns which included a guided viewing of historic Barntick House and a display of ancient farm machinery.

Gunpowdermill Walk and Talk
Ballincollig Heritage Festival created a tour by local historian Jenny Webb of Ballincollig’s historic Gunpowdermills, one of the largest industrial archaeological sites in Ireland and one with an incredible history.

Big American Swim
The American Pier Cobh Association’s Big American Swim focused attention on the US presence in Cobh during WW1 and the “American pier” which has been focal point for outdoor recreation in the town ever since.

DERRY Online programme of virtual tours, videos and exhibitions to celebrate local heritage and history A full programme of online events exploring various aspects of local heritage and history of Derry. The programme included virtual tours, exploring the city walls, historic cannons and more.

Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter Experience
Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter organised a ‘Walking History Tour’ of Letterkenny’s Cathedral Quarter, a part of the town with a rich history filled with characters brought back to life for Heritage Week through tales and costumed actors.

DOWN Cursai Gaeilge Two Irish Language evening events take place for anyone attending to improve their Irish. One event for Adult Total Beginners, with Dr. Niall Comer (University of Ulster) and the other (delivered through Irish) for those seeking to practise Irish in a total immersion environment, with Séamus Mac Dhaibhéid.

The Liberties Weavers Walking Tour
The Liberties Weavers’ event showcased Dublin’s Liberties as a centre of textile production stretching back more than 1000 years, a little-known fact explored in a guided walk of the area.

Tour around Rathdown Union Workhouse and Graveyard
An informative walking tour by local historian Billy Byrne outside of the Rathdown Union Workhouse –now better known as Loughlinstown Hospital – and including the workhouse graveyard.

Rural Village Wildflower Ramble
Ballyboughal Hedgerow Society took participants on botanic walk to discover the wild and wonderful flowers on local walls and hedges and along Ballyboughal Brook.

Launch of Threading the Tower – recreating Clondalkin’s Round Tower in Crochet Lane
Clondalkin library showcased the work of local lacemakers in creating a replica of the Clondalkin Round Tower using traditional techniques.

FERMANAGH Explore Early Christian Heritage at Benaughlin Get to explore the geology, history, and heritage of Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark with local guide Andy for a two hour walk around the beautiful Benaughlin mountain as he shares the story of the early Christin Heritage of the area.

Dry Stonewalling Workshops, Galway
Friends of Merlin Woods organised stonewall workshops led by Fergus Packman, one of Ireland’s top stone masons.


Celebration of the Centenary of An Garda Síochána
Oughterard Heritage Group created an exhibition providing an insight into the founding of An Garda Síochána, with a particular focus on policing County Galway and its Gaeltacht.

Garda Celebration


Asdee Water Heritage
This from Asdee Community Development explored the history of the Kerry village, from its first settlers to how it got its name, including a look at all the wildlife on Littor strand, where the Asdee River meets the Shannon.


Ballitore Library, Museum and Market House
Conservator Damien Condon of Calx Restoration hosted engaging talks about the history of the community library and museum in Ballitore and on the development of the Market House in Ballitore, including a demonstration of lime render techniques.


The Song of the Scythe
The Acorn Project’s day of scything
and a farmland pollinator walks included a workshop on how to set up your scythe for success, and achieve a good mowing technique.


20th Century Walking Tour of Portlaoise NIAH
A tour of some of the 20th century buildings of Portlaoise that often do not receive the attention they deserve including the only round house in the county d the county Hospital.


The Half of the Moon and the Whole of the Hill
Mohill Historical Society and Friends invited all to discover Mohill through its music, songs, poetry and stories, with a traditional singer and guide taking them on an entertaining walk through town.


Mysterious Monuments
Bruff Tidy Towns gave people a chance to look at what lies beneath, in a guided walk led by Aine Brosnan to see what lay hidden in the water, behind the ditches and under the ivy of Ballygrennan Castle.


Tour of Edgeworthstown
The Maria Edgeworth Centre offered visitors a tour of historical sites associated with Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde and William Wordsworth, to name just a few.


Hooley Booley Cooley
Cooley Connect Well organised a weekend of events including a hill walk, exploration of booleying and stone heritage, a film, set dancing, and basket making.


The Irishtown Piper – a Celebration
Celebration organised by Irishtown Heritage Group to honour the memory of the Brooklyn-based Uilleann Piper Michael Carney (1872–1938), a native of the Mayo village.

Uileann popers celebration


Navan – its People and its Past
Seminar organised by Navan and District Historical Society
included talks on everything from the town’s wildlife to its history of carpet and furniture making.


The Heritage of Music in Co. Monaghan
An evening remembering the music scene in Castleblayney in days of yore from Laragh Heritage, and seeing how the town’s musical heritage has continued through the generations.


St Brochan’s Well
Bracknagh Heritage Society invited all to gather at - and celebrate - the well of St. Brochan, a site reckoned to have rivalled Clonmacnoise or Glendalough in its day.


The Wrought Iron Farm Gate
Farming Rathcroghan provided a talk on Ireland’s traditional wrought iron farm gate, exploring its role in our farming landscape, and as “totem poles” of past land wars.


Thatching: A demonstration of techniques, tools and materials
Sligo Field Club gave us opportunity to find out more about this most traditional of roof coverings led by Susanne Bojkovsky, who completed her thatcher’s apprenticeship decades ago.


Bianconi Carriage Drive
Cahir Social and Historical Society organised a convoy of horse-drawn carriages from the transport hub of the Bianconi network, Hearn’s Hotel in Clonmel.

Aonach na nDéise
This Viking heritage celebration at Woodstown on the Waterford Greenway saw battle re-enactments, Viking games, and a Viking Craft Village.


Connaught Street History and Heritage Walk
Connaught Street and environs traders – and residents – organised an event which saw historian Gearoid O’Brien take participants on a walking tour to learn more about this historic part of town.


Castletown River and Nature Festival 2023
Friends of Ahare River Biodiversity Group held a number of festival events including a bat walk, a conference on river and farm-based biodiversity, and an exhibition of children’s stories.


200 Years of Ballyknockan – a living history
A fascinating guided tour of Ballyknockan
by eighth generation stonecutters the O’Flaherty family. Ballyknockan is known as The Granite Village or The Skeleton of Dublin because of its role in many of Ireland’s historical buildings.