Episode 14- National Heritage Week 2021

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Over the past 16 years, National Heritage Week has been a focal point, bringing together communities and people across the country. It is now one of the most significant dates in Ireland’s cultural calendar.

What is heritage? It’s the culmination of our shared experiences over the millennia; it’s the who we are and where we’ve come from. It’s the cultures and traditions which have fashioned the inhabitants of this island. It’s the habitat and wonders of the natural world all about us.

So much goes into contributing to our collective memory; there are stones and buildings that speak of former days. Our seascapes, wild places, gardens, parks, inland waterways, folklore and craft – all contain their own mysteries and harbour their own stories.

Over the past 16 years, National Heritage Week has been a focal point, bringing together communities and people across the country.It is now one of the most significant dates in Ireland’s cultural calendar. Last year, it catered for more than 800 projects.

In response to COVID-19 guidelines, National Heritage Week last year moved away from events only, and invited heritage enthusiasts to create projects which could be shared online. As a result of continued public health restrictions, National Heritage Week 2021 will retain the project element introduced last year.

Open the door to heritage is this year’s message from the Heritage Council. In particular, we’re calling ‘heritage newcomers’ to get involved in the celebration. We’re also encouraging those who may not traditionally feel included in heritage matters to get involved.

One of Ireland’s leading advocates for the promotion of heritage is Christy Cunniffe from Clonfert, Co Galway. With more than 30 years of involvement in the sector, he won last year’s coveted Heritage Hero award.

In today’s podcast, he talks about the importance of National Heritage Week, which he says is a celebration of much we hold dear - and so much that we should preserve.

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