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Get ready for National Heritage Week

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A group of local heritage and history enthusiasts along with special guests at the launch

of the 2015 Co. Donegal Heritage Week events guide at the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny.


Grab your free copy of the County Donegal Heritage Week Event Guide and re-discover your heritage—that’s the message from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council as National Heritage Week approaches.


National Heritage Week runs from Saturday, August 22 until Sunday, August 30 and people in Donegal are being urged to take part in this year’s extensive programme of events.  The aim of Heritage Week is to raise awareness of built, cultural and natural heritage and encourage its preservation.  With well over 100 events, County Donegal is the county with the most events taking place in the country outside Dublin and Cork.

“National Heritage Week focuses attention on our material heritage,” said John McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Executive of Donegal County Council.  “It’s a great time to get out and rediscover the cultural, built and natural heritage on our doorsteps.  We often take our heritage for granted and there’s a lot to learn and enjoy from engaging with our heritage.  Our material heritage brings our history and culture to life.  Our heritage resources present future opportunities too.  They help to make County Donegal an attractive place in which to live, they raise pride in our sense of place, they communicate our sense of identity, they support jobs, they provide training opportunities and they attract visitors that discover and rediscover our heritage time and time and time again.” 


Donegal Heritage Officer, Joseph Gallagher addressing the new County Donegal Event Guide launch


County Donegal is the place to be during Heritage Week with over 100 events already planned around the county during that week, most of which are free.  Events include heritage open days, guided walks, fieldtrips, exhibitions, conferences, illustrated talks, historical re-enactments, birds of prey displays, whale watching, garden tours, traditional skills demonstrations, craft fairs, skills training, launch events, film screenings, storytelling, traditional music and children’s activities.


The Cultural Services Division of Donegal County Council has organised, or is hosting, about 20 free ‘Heritage Week’ events.  Glenveagh National Park has a full programme of events including including free castle tours, craft displays, historical re-enactments, birds of prey displays and traditional music.  This year’s theme for National Heritage Week is industrial and design heritage which includes mills, forges, factory buildings, mines, lime kilns, railways and bridges. 


Launching the County Donegal Heritage Week Event Guide in the County Museum on Tuesday, August 11, Dr. Lochlann McGill, President of the Donegal Historical Society, paid tribute to the many people, heritage organisations, museums, heritage centres, historical societies and community groups that organise Heritage Week events often on a voluntary basis.


“National Heritage Week not only showcases the heritage of County Donegal but also represents the best of the heritage sector in the county,” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.


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Tracey McRory, from the Iosas Centre, Muff, who performed a specially commissioned piece

of music on the harp entitled ‘The O’Neill of the North’ at the launch of the Heritage Week events guide

at the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny.


“The number of people involved in organising Heritage Week events in the county continues to grow.  These events encourage people to engage with heritage at the local level.”


National Heritage Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and Local Authority Heritage Officers with support from the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland.  The County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council has produced the highly-popular, pocket-size County Donegal ‘Heritage Week’ Event Guide again this year and it’s available free-of-charge from libraries, museums, heritage centres and tourist offices and on-line at the County Donegal Heritage Office website at:  For the first time this year, there’s also a pull-out day-by-day guide to events in the centre pages of the booklet.  Updates are available on the National Heritage Week website at:


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