The annual Ceiliúradh na bPíob, led by the renowned uilleann piper, Noel Carberry at the OPW Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre
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.
This year it takes place from Saturday, August 17 to Sunday, August 25, inclusive.
Each year, National Heritage Week has a unique theme that helps highlight an aspect of our heritage.
This year’s theme is ‘Pastimes | Past Times’, which will appeal to anyone with a hobby or interest, from sports to crafts to collecting.
A range of events have been organised around the country, and particularly in Co Longford to celebrate these parts of our shared heritage.
Coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, National Heritage Week has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events.
Last year, more than half a million people attended events across the country, most of which were hosted by communities, volunteers and individuals who champion Ireland’s heritage in its many forms.
This year in County Longford, there are thirty events taking place across the county, ranging from walks and talks, to workshops and community planting events where the public of all ages are encouraged to come along and get involved. Many aspects of our natural and cultural heritage are being celebrated.
For those interested in the environment and wildlife, events include a practical event to help plant pollinator-friendly plants to help our bees, taking place at the birthplace of celebrated writer Oliver Goldsmith, at 11am on Saturday, August 17.
The event is being promoted by Longford County Council, in partnership with the Oliver Goldsmith Literary Festival Committee and the Longford Environmental Alliance, and Brendan Farrell of the LEA will be on hand. Geologist Matthew Parkes will lead two events that afternoon at the Newtowncashel Quarry Park, in partnership with Newtowncashel Tidy Villages, and at St Mel’s Cathedral, giving us an alternative view of our landmark building, and a unique perspective on the journey of stone.
Water Heritage Day events will take place on Sunday, August 18 at The Albert Reynolds Peace Park (the Mall) in Longford Town and on Sunday, August 25 in Aughnacliffe, at the Pullaneis Waterfall, which was beautifully restored by the Colmcille Community Development Association. Water Heritage Day is a collaboration between The Heritage Council and the Local Authority Waters Programme to celebrate water and our connections with it.
Historic events are always popular during Heritage Week, with celebrations of local history taking place in Lanesboro, Ardagh, Newtownforbes, Legan and Kenagh.
The Edgeworthstown Literary Trail will again throw open the doors of the old Rectory and tell the stories of its famous visitors, including Oscar Wilde and Sir Walter Scott.
Local historian, Paddy Egan, will launch his latest volume ‘An Áit ‘Nár Tógaid Mé’ in Ballymahon Community Library.
Historian and Genealogist, Eilish Feeley will also be at Ballymahon Library, delivering her research on the T.B. epidemic in Ireland, the most recent of which is in living memory.
Historic pastimes and games are the order of the day at the Ardagh Heritage & Creativity Centre, who will be hosting a unique family event, ‘How Not To Get Bored In The Past’ on Sunday, August 18.
No week dedicated to pastimes would be complete without the GAA and Eamonn Brennan, Irish and Cultural Officer for Longford GAA will document the story of the organisation in Co Longford at a fascinating talk in Longford Library on Wednesday, August 21.
A special event is scheduled for the Knights & Conquests Visitor Centre in Granard on Friday, August 23 with storytelling, birds of prey and displays of non-invasive archaeological techniques telling the story of what life may have been like for the people of the Middle Ages.
This event is just one of the many taking place in Granard from August 22 to 25 to celebrate Granard Harp Festival, organised by the John Dungan Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in partnership with Creative Ireland Longford.
As ever, the OPW Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre will put on a great programme of events to celebrate the week, with lots of activities for young people and families, as well as a celebration of Irish crafts and music, with demonstrations by master basket-weaver Eddie McGrath, an exhibition on Traditional Music in Longford and the annual Ceiliúradh na bPíob, led by the renowned uilleann piper, Noel Carberry.
To find out more about Heritage Week visit www.heritageweek.ie and follow them on social media. For more information about what is happening in Longford during Heritage Week, visit www.longfordlibrary.ie and follow the Longford Heritage Office & Archives on Facebook.