Heritage Week – coordinated by the Heritage Council and part of the wider European Heritage Days Programme – takes place in Ireland, 2014, from August 23rd to 31st. In the County of Cork, over 130 events have been organised in over 52 locations – from Allihies to Ardfield and Midleton to Mitchelstown.
Please click here for full Heritage week events guide
Heritage Week in the County of Cork, 2014, not only contains the highest number of events yet, but also the greatest range of events, clearly highlighting how vast, interesting and enjoyable our collective heritage is. It is thanks to the many event organisers and active heritage groups in the County that such an exciting list of events has been put in place and each group should be commended.
Whichever corner of the County you are in, there has never been such a wide geographical spread of events. These events cover everything from High Kings and pirates to ringforts, castles and medieval life, and for those keen on getting out and about there are over 20 guided walks and tours, covering everything from our natural heritage to our historic settlements. There are Medieval Festivals in Bandon and Youghal and heritage packed programmes have been set-out for a number of places in the County including Skibbereen, Kinsale, Clonakilty and Glanmire. In addition, Cork has some noteworthy connections around the world from a heritage perspective and to this effect there is an event in Shanagarry, Cloyne on connections with Australia, and regarding connections with the USA there will be a talk on prominent horticulturist John Saul taking place in Castlemartyr.
The Heritage Unit of Cork County Council has also organised a few events for Heritage Week including a talk in Ballyvourney by County Archaeologist Mary Sleeman, documenting the significance of St. Gobnait’s well and the adjacent church. In the County Hall, two talks have been organised relating to two projects that are being undertaken with the support of the Heritage Council – a publication on the heritage houses of County Cork and a project looking at the heritage of the Muscraí Gaeltacht. When in the County Hall make sure to visit the heritage exhibition in the lobby and next door in the County Library, there is a wonderful exhibition on railway heritage, certainly worth the visit.
Overall there is no denying but that Heritage Week is of the utmost importance to the Country, both nationally and even more so at a grass roots level. Michael Starrett, CEO of the Heritage Council recently said, “National Heritage Week focuses on getting people involved in the heritage of Ireland and particularly the heritage of the local community, making it accessible to everyone. We have seen a real shift in people’s interest in the heritage of their places over the past decade and a much greater recognition of the value heritage adds to every community across Ireland. Latest figures from the CSO show over 3.4 million overseas visitors travelling to Ireland between January and June this year. National Heritage Week offers huge opportunities for communities to attract visitors to their area and experience the wealth of heritage, which in many cases remains unknown. In 2012, National Heritage Week created 10,000 bed nights worth over €1.4m to local economies nationwide. With over 400,000 people expected to attend Heritage Week events this year, the potential impact Heritage Week can have for local communities cannot be underestimated.”
The Heritage Week Events Leaflet for County Cork is attached here in electronic form and is available in all tourist offices, libraries, heritage centres, museums, and the majority of Cork County Council Public Offices. If you would like a copy to be posted out to you by all means send an email with your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org and one will be sent as soon as possible. Make sure to also check out www.heritageweek.ie for further updates and of course details of the National Heritage Week Photography completion.
Please note that event organisers should be contacted prior to the event for confirmation of details, particularly as a few of events require advance booking. Also note that additional Heritage Week events and any changes to events will be listed on Cork County Council’s Heritage Week website (www.corkcoco.ie/heritage). Thus far one new event has been listed for Castletownroche on the 23rd of August (a book launch re the “Prehistoric Archaeology of the Beara Peninsula” by Connie Murphy) and the Nature Trail and Barn Dance in Carrigadrohid will take place on Friday 29th August at 7pm (not on the 30th as erroneously listed).