Laois entries sought for National Heritage Week Awards

Leinster Express Reporter


Leinster Express Reporter


heritage week

Chairman of the Heritage Council, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, Michael Parsons, CEO of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan launch the awards

The Heritage Council is to run an awards scheme for each county participating in National Heritage Week this year.

To take account of restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19, rather than focusing on the organisation of Heritage Week events this year, local heritage groups, families and communities are invited to develop projects around this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’.

All projects submitted will be considered for a National Heritage Week Award.National Heritage Week Awards have been expanded to include an award for the best project in each county.

Projects will be assessed on the basis of their local reach and community engagement, educational value and the level to which they involve different age groups.Laois man and Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons, urged everyone to get involved.

“This year, more than ever, National Heritage Week is accessible to everyone:  we are calling on individuals, families and communities to explore an aspect of their local heritage; document it; and showcase it in a format that can be shared widely.

Lots of older members of families and communities have the knowledge and skills that can contribute to a heritage project, while younger people have the technological skills and the imagination to showcase local heritage projects in digital formats," he said.

The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, also spoke at the announcement.

“I am delighted that the Heritage Council has taken the initiative to expand the National Heritage Week Awards to include county awards.

There is a strong network of local Heritage Officers around the country, who work hard to support communities in protecting and promoting local heritage.

The awards should help stimulate interest and healthy competition within communities,” he said.

National Heritage Week projects should be completed in time for August, when they will be showcased during Heritage Week 2020.

Formats for showcasing may 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, restricted social gatherings, which comply with official public health advice.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.

The week is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and run in association with Fáilte Ireland. 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.

Collaborative partners include the Office of Public Works; the Local Authority Water Programme; the Irish Landmark Trust; and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. National Heritage Week will run from Saturday, 15th – Sunday, 23rd August.

For further information, visit