The Heritage Council invites everyone to take part in Heritage Week, which begins on Saturday, August 25th and runs until Sunday, September 2nd.
Over 800 events - most of them free of charge - will take place across the country, with something happening in every county and on every day of the week. There is a huge range of activities and events to choose from - including guided tours and historical re-enactments, wildlife walks, boat trips, storytelling and music performances, craft master classes, bat walks and even bug hunts.
Isabell Smyth, Communications Officer at the Heritage Council says - "Heritage Week is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and learn about aspects of our national heritage that appeal to you and to share that enjoyment with family and friends. Heritage Week is also an opportunity to promote a greater sense of care about the nation's heritage - which benefits all of us."
Many of the events during Heritage Week are run by local community and voluntary groups to promote awareness and share a growing pride in our national heritage, which includes buildings, museums, cultural events, wildlife and landscape. During the week, Saturday 1st September has been designated as Water Heritage Day and Saturday, August 26th as Walled Towns Day, with many special events taking place.
Heritage Week will be officially launched on Saturday, August 25th at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, with a day of fun and learning for all the family. Activities on the day will include a heritage quiz trail, guided tree walks, children's games, workshops and music in the Farmleigh pleasure grounds.
Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days - a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union - which has been running for the past fifteen years to celebrate the unity and diversity of Europe's heritage.
In Ireland, Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and with support from Fáilte Ireland.
Further information about events can be obtained -
* on www.heritageweek.ie
* from local authority heritage officers - or
* by calling Callsave 1850 200878.
Booklets with a full listing of events will also be available from local libraries and tourist offices in early August.