05/08/2021

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Share in the joy of Laois heritage

Heritage Council invites communities across County Laois to participate in National Heritage Week 2021

Share in the joy of Laois heritage

The Bulfin Cycle during Heritage Week in Laois

Culture and heritage groups, as well as communities, families and individuals in Laois are invited to get involved and celebrate and share heritage. 

Organised by the Heritage Council, National Heritage Week will run from Saturday, 14th – Sunday, 22nd August, and has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events.  

The Chairman of the Heritage Council is Michael Parsons from Portlaoise. 

“I strongly encourage all project organisers to think meaningfully on how they might include new members of their communities in their projects, and explore aspects of heritage that may have been overlooked in the past.” 

National Heritage Week events in Laois will be coordinated and supported by the Heritage Officer at Laois County Council Catherine Casey.  

National Heritage Week 2021 will follow the same format as last year, where local heritage groups and organisers, families and communities are invited to develop projects which can be showcased on line. In-person events will be limited and will be required to adhere to public health advice. There is no subject-specific theme for National Heritage Week 2021; instead, the focus is on getting as many people to enjoy heritage as possible.  

Project organisers are being asked to consider the following: 

  • Heritage newcomers: A general invitation to individuals, families and communities who have never engaged in National Heritage Week to work on a heritage project. 
  • Heritage sharing: An invitation to existing National Heritage Week organisers to connect with a group / individuals in the community who may not feel included in local heritage; or an opportunity to explore an aspect of local heritage that is seldom considered / celebrated. 
  • Heritage for all ages: This is an invitation to National Heritage Week organisers to include different age groups in heritage projects. 

Projects should be completed in time for National Heritage Week (14th-22nd August 2021) when they will be showcased on www.heritageweek.ie .

Accepted formats for showcasing vary from online talks or exhibitions, to a video, podcast, slideshow presentation or blog, to media coverage, a dedicated website or moderated social media account, or by means of small, in-person events, which comply with official public health advice.  A suite of resources to support project development will be available on HeritageWeek.ie as well as a series of webinars which will run in June, presented by the Heritage Council. For more information, visit www.heritageweek.ie. 

The launch was attended by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD. 

“My department and I are pleased to support this year’s National Heritage Week, which focuses on encouraging the inclusion of as many people as possible in exploring, sharing and enjoying Ireland’s diverse heritage.  

“I especially welcome the heritage newcomers approach taken this year, which is an invitation to those who are new to heritage to get involved. During lockdowns many of us have had more time to explore our local or personal heritage. National Heritage Week may be the perfect opportunity to showcase what you have discovered, or to dig deeper and find out more. Whatever aspect of heritage is chosen, I wish the very best to all those taking part and look forward to seeing the end results in August,” he said. 

Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan added: “National Heritage Week continues to be an important moment for community engagement, wellbeing and social cohesion. Heritage Week offers the perfect opportunity to showcase a personal heritage project that can be part of the bigger heritage landscape and shared with the wider national community.” 

National Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council as part of European Heritage Days – a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which more than 40 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.   

National Heritage Week is supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and is generously supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Irish Landmark Trust, the Local Authority Water Programme and the Office of Public Works.  At the county level, National Heritage Week is co-ordinated and supported by local authority heritage officers, their colleagues and with numerous local heritage groups and organisations. Supporting partners include RTÉ Supporting the Arts and The Irish Times. For more information, visit heritageweek.ie. 

The Heritage Council was established under the Heritage Act 1995 with responsibility to propose policies and priorities for the national heritage. It works in cooperation with a range of agencies, communities and individuals to promote education, enjoyment and understanding of our national heritage. For further information, visit: www.heritagecouncil.ie. 

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