Emma Behan and Bridget Loughlin, Heritage Office Kildare County Council , pictured at the 2019 launch of Heritage Week in Kildare
The theme for Heritage Week 2019 is the celebration of Pastimes and Past Times. The week-long series of cultural events will take a bold approach, seeing itself as 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, an eco warrior.
That’s according to Bridget Loughlin, County Kildare Heritage Officer.
Heritage Week 2019, which takes place nationwide from August 17 to 25, will showcase the joy, diversity and accessibility that can be found within Kildare’s rich heritage.
As a nation of storytellers, all of our heritage is linked to stories of people, places, moments and things.
Events taking place in Kildare include an exhibition tracing the history of the Irish draught horse at the Curragh Camp, a Wild Child Day at Castletown House, Celbridge and storytelling by Eddie Lenihan at Athy Library and lots, lots more.
With over 120 events taking place throughout the county, 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.
“I am amazed at the number and variety of events happening during Heritage week this year. We have a hundred events taking place, many of which are organised by history, heritage and tidy towns groups to showcase their local heritage. I have to commend community and heritage groups for their enthusiasm and energy during heritage week each year,” said Ms Loughlin.
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.
National Heritage Week is 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 Heritage Week programme features events for all ages, most of which are free to attend. Local highlights include:
* The Irish Draught Horse, Military Museum, Curragh Camp, August 17 to 24. This exhibition will trace the history of the Irish draught horse, from war horse to show jumper, and from medieval times to the present.
* Wild Child Day Nature Outing in Castletown House, Celbridge on August 21. Join Wild Kildare on Wild Child Day where kids and families are encouraged to get outdoors. The tour will look for all wildlife that lives here. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
* Eddie Lenihan Storytelling at Athy Library on August 20. Host, master storyteller Eddie Lenihan will share tales of magic, myth and mystery for all. One of the few remaining seanchaí in Ireland, Eddie is not one to be missed!
National Heritage Week demonstrates how people can play their part in protecting our natural heritage all year long, from making our gardens pollinator-friendly to volunteering for local clean ups and citizen science projects.
It is an opportunity to learn how we can protect our endangered species and habitats and see how the work and commitment of local communities is conserving nature, for us and for future generations.
Heritage Week presents an opportunity to take part in one of the numerous walks organised by community groups to present and explain local heritage and to discover the wealth of fascinating heritage within the county.
National Heritage Week is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on not only our heritage but the work of hundreds of Kildare volunteers who give their time to preserve and promote it.
For the full timetable of events in County Kildare, see www.heritageweek.ie.