Our National Heritage
We must continue to manage, protect, conserve and most importantly enjoy our Heritage. The definition of Heritage under the Heritage Act 1995 , as including archaeological objects, monuments, buildings, or parts of any buildings, habitually used for ecclesiastical purposes, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, climatological, ecological, geological or pedological factors, records – documents / genealogical, architectural heritage, flora & fauna, geology, wildlife habitats, heritage gardens & parks, art & sculpture, industrial heritage, inland waterways – truly a comprehensive definition that includes both cultural and natural aspects of Ireland and Irish life.
National Heritage Week / Seachtain Oidhreachta
The Heritage Council coordinates National Heritage Week in August each year. Heritage Week seeks to protect and enhance the richness, quality and diversity of our national heritage for everyone. The Heritage Council work at a local level with local Councils and their partners to ensure that thousands of events are organised annually – each designed to increase awareness of Ireland’s national heritage, thus highlighting the importance of our shared heritage in formulating public policy and indeed in our everyday lives.
Local communities can organise an event (or events) to help build awareness of their built, natural and cultural heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation.
National Heritage Week is a week-long celebration of our heritage both national and local, there will be lots of events organised, such as night time bat walks, traditional music, classical music, poetry readings, theatre, storytelling, historical re-enactments, local history walks and talks, food fairs, country markets, traditional skills workshops and even archaeological digs in some locations, and if you will be by the coast there will be maritime and coastal events organised.
There’s something for everyone, all ages and interests are catered for and best of all most events are free!
There are always a wide range of heritage events organised in County Kildare, primarily by community groups and local history groups, demonstrating a great pride and growing awareness of Kildare’s heritage. There will be many events for wildlife enthusiasts such as walks, wildlife talks etc.
Some Suggestions – if you would like to become involved:
- Visit one of the many historic houses and protected properties which will open their doors during Heritage Week;
- Visit local facilities such as Athy or Kildare Heritage Centre;
- Visit a museum, Pollardstown Fen, or take a walk on the Curragh;
- Visit a local country market or craft fair;
- Local History groups throughout the county will be organising talks, walks and other events in their locality;
- Consider organising a biodiversity walk along your local river or canal;
- Consider organising a guided walk of the historical sites in your locality;
- Consider organising a “living history” display, exhibition / photographic exhibition;
- Consider organising a music recital – it could be Traditional, Folk or Classical;
- How about organising a night-time bat walk or a wildlife tour of your locality:
- Check in your local library to see if there are any events being organised there;
Heritage in Schools:
The Heritage in Schools scheme provides a panel of Heritage Experts (numbering 176 in 2015) to primary schools – these Heritage Experts will visit primary schools to work directly with the pupils. All experts must be booked in advance of visit through the Heritage in Schools Website and the cost of this scheme is shared between the school and the Heritage Council.
“The primary aim of the scheme is to encourage awareness of the genius of the natural and cultural world that surrounds us in our daily lives and engage children in a direct experience of their heritage, preferably outside the classroom where possible and appropriate. The scheme supports the stated aims and objectives of the SESE curriculum and provides an additional educational tool and resource for teachers.” (Quote – Heritage in Schools Website)