Heritage Week 2019 launches with a host of unique events celebrating Irish Pastimes from Past Times

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The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, TD, today launched National Heritage Week 2019, Ireland’s great annual celebration of our national heritage, which takes place from 17th to 25th of August.

Heritage Week 2019, which takes place nationwide from 17th to 25th of August, will showcase the joy, diversity and accessibility that can be found within our country’s rich heritage. As a nation of storytellers, all of our heritage is linked to stories of people, places, moments and things.

Heritage Week 2019 will be a call to action for people to discover, interpret and embrace their heritage and in turn create their own new pastime - to become an explorer, an archaeologist, a storyteller, a wildlife enthusiast.

With over 2000 events taking place throughout the country, there is undoubtedly an event for everyone, no matter their age or interests. The eclectic offering of events in this year’s schedule includes picnics and parties, talks and tours, ceilís, crafts and craic, all of which serve to make our country’s heritage more inclusive than ever.

National Heritage Week is a celebration of Ireland's built, natural and cultural heritage and aims to generate awareness, appreciation and preservation of our wonderful resources.

This year The Heritage Council’s chosen theme for Heritage Week is the celebration of Pastimes and Past Times.

Speaking on the importance of Heritage week, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan said “I pay tribute to the hundreds of individuals and communities across Ireland who, every year, give of themselves to stage events and share their interest in heritage with the public at large. This commitment is the backbone of our heritage, and it is more important than ever, given the imperatives around climate action, that we nurture those who nurture our heritage.

The Heritage Week programme features events for all ages, most of which are free to attend. Highlights include:

'A Modern Eye: Helen Hooker O'Malley's Ireland'. Dublin City. 21st August. National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar. This event will celebrate the work of Helen Hooker O'Malley with music and readings of her unpublished poetry in the photographic exhibition. The National Library's National Photographic Archive.

Ceramics and Geology Workshop, The Elliott Centre, Kilkee, Smyths Gardens, Kilkee, Co Clare. - 17th August

Join us on a material journey from earth to pot, exploring the geological history of Co. Clare and the transformation of earth materials into fired ceramics with a geological twist.

Medieval Warfare Re-enactment, Ormond Castle, Tipperary – 18th August

An afternoon of action as fully armoured warriors battle for survival, using steel replica armour and weapons in full contact medieval fighting. Meet the warriors and see their weapons

Coastal Heritage Cruise – Cruit & Owey Islands, Donegal – 20 – 23rd August

Explore the spectacular rugged coastline and Irish place names, discovering past times and life on the islands while breathing the fresh sea air

Wild Child Day - Wednesday 21 August

On this day, event organisers are encouraged to host events specifically for children, from history hunts and storytelling sessions to crafts workshops.

Fireside Ceili, Backyard, Moynehall, Cavan - 21st August

Fireside Ceili, with music, song, dance and traditional refreshments.

Water Heritage Day - Sunday 25 August

Together with the Local Authority Waters Programme, we celebrate our most precious natural resource in all its forms, from the sea to rivers, lakes and ponds.

Speaking ahead of the launch of Heritage Week 2019 the CEO of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan said “The theme of this year’s National Heritage Week – ‘Pastimes | Past Times’ – is one that will appeal to anyone who can remember what it is to be a child, who has a hobby, enjoys a craft, is an enthusiastic collector, plays an instrument or just likes to tell stories. We hope this year, as in previous years, you find something to enjoy by yourself, with friends or with family.”

Coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, National Heritage Week has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events. Last year, more than half a million people attended in excess of 2,200 events across the country, most of which were hosted by communities, volunteers and individuals who champion Ireland’s heritage in its many forms.

All registered events are listed on www.heritageweek.ie.