Stroll through local history this Heritage Week in Laois

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Stroll through local history this Heritage Week in Laois

Across the country plans are coming together for National Heritage Week 2016 which will take place from 20 to 28 August. Events are being organised by almost 1,000 heritage enthusiasts from organisations to community groups and individuals.

The programme of events for Laois highlights the abundance of great work that is carried out in all communities in Ireland to preserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage.

Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said “Most of the events are free so that the heritage of Laois can be accessed and appreciated by all. For nine action packed days, Ireland celebrates not only heritage but community involvement and a deep connection between people and plae”.

This year’s theme is One Hundred Years of Heritage. In this centenary year of the 1916 Rising, what better time to celebrate the last 100 years of Ireland's heritage: historical, archaeological, architectural and environmental. How did people live, what did they eat, how did they travel, what jobs did they do? What was life like for a soldier, a farmer, a nurse or a schoolchild? What was important to those that lived in Ireland then, are these things still important to us now? What has been saved and what has disappeared?

From open days at historic buildings to hands-on heritage fun for children there is something for everyone to enjoy this National Heritage Week. Find out more about life 100 years ago at exhibitions, activities, talks, craft demonstrations, re-enactments, tours and more.

Explore the history of Laois on a walking tour of Portlaoise. Play the games of days gone by at Abbeyleix Heritage House. Journey to Castlewood Farm in Durrow to find out more about the wildlife that surrounds us and how it has changed in the past 100 years.

Visit Donaghmore Museum to explore the lives of the people of Laois in days gone by, or experience film footage of the Rising and related images from the time at the Dunamaise Arts Centre. Or go even further back in time and try your hand at archaeology or experience Bronze Age life in 1916 BC by cooking on a Fulacht Fiadh in Abbeyleix.

National Heritage Week is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on not only our heritage but the work of thousands of volunteers who give their time to preserve and promote it. Last year National Heritage Week hosted its biggest national celebration of all things heritage, with over 405,000 people attending 1,826 events.

National Heritage Week is part of a European Heritage Day programme of events. This is a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which over forty countries participate each year. The main aim of European Heritage Days is to promote awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage and to promote Europe’s common cultural heritage. Here in Ireland we celebrate European Heritage Days with a full week of events throughout National Heritage Week. National Heritage Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and its aim is to build awareness and education about our heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation.

In the past ten years Heritage Week has grown into a highly successful programme of over 1800 events which take place during the last week of August each year. At local level, Heritage Week events are co-ordinated by the Heritage Office of Laois County Council> An event guide for the week for Laois is available to download at www.laos.ie/heritage, or in hard copy at all Branch Libraries.

National Heritage Week 2016 will run from 20th – 28th August. - See more at: www.heritageweek.ie.