Community groups and heritage lovers in County Longford are being encouraged to sign up to celebrate National Heritage Week 2020, which takes place between August 15 and 23.
Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council and is supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage and Longford County Council.
Each year the festival celebrates all aspects of Ireland’s heritage, bringing together communities, families, organisations, cultural institutions, academics and enthusiasts, to build awareness about the value of heritage and support its conservation.
In Longford our natural and cultural heritage is celebrated through a wide range of events organised by local community groups and organisations.
Due to Covid-19 related restrictions on social gatherings, the Heritage Council is inviting communities around the country to undertake projects that explore a topic associated with this year’s theme – ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’.
There are three sub-themes that can be explored: Heritage on Your Doorstep, Relearning Skills From Our Heritage and the Heritage of Education, that communities and individuals are invited to explore and share with the wider community on heritageweek.ie and the Longford Heritage Office social media.
Speaking on this year’s initiative, Máiréad Ní Chonghaile, Heritage Officer for Longford County Council said: “Heritage Week is such an important event, as it gives a chance for communities and local groups to showcase the best of their community and fosters a real sense of pride in the county. This year, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, there is less of an emphasis on individual events, and we are encouraging people to explore their locality more and share what they have discovered.”
A number of fascinating projects and virtual events have already been lined up, ranging from exploring the River Camlin with writer John Connell, discovering the Ounamoun Nature Reserve, to finding out more about the Anglo-Normans at Granard, and the local connection to the Connaught Rangers Mutiny of 1920.
Some of the projects are very personal, such as investigating the personal impact post-Great Hunger evictions had on one Longford family.
Given the focus of these year’s theme on education, the special place that County Longford holds in the development of education in Ireland will be looked at in video projects on the Edgeworth family and the old Latin School in Moyne, as well as on the Schools Folklore Collection of the 1930s.
The Longford Heritage Officer is encouraging people and communities to get involved by exploring the heritage on their doorstep, learning a traditional craft, or sharing their skills and knowledge with others. The projects can be shared with the heritage office using photographs and video.
Small gatherings, workshops and walks can also be organised, within Covid-19 guidelines.
More information on National Heritage Week 2020 can be found by visiting www.heritageweek.ie or by contacting Mairéad Ní Chonghaile at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning (043) 33 41124.