Thursday 19 July 2012

National Heritage Week launched

The bells of Christ Church Dublin rang out earlier this week to launch National Heritage Week 2012. This year's event, which takes place nationwide from Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th August, has a record 1400 events registered.

Those events are listed in the National Heritage Week Event Guide, 50,000 copies of which are now available throughout the country in Fáilte Ireland Tourist Offices, libraries, major heritage sites, bus stations, county council offices etc. They can also be searched online at

As in previous years, there's a good helping of genealogy events, from workshops and lectures to one-on-one guidance sessions. There are marathon sessions, such as the nine-day genealogy tour of Tipperary on every day of Heritage Week, and specialised resource days such as the FindMyPastIreland & Eneclann Family History Research Day on 23 August as well as introductory events at museums and libraries.

Searching is easy on the Event Search page, but be aware that when you type Genealogy into the Keyword field, you'll get different results to those you get if you type in 'Family History', so do check both.

Of course, it's not all about finding ancestors. I'm delighted to see that this year the Heritage Council is focusing on Ireland’s Built Heritage. During the week, over 600 built heritage events will take place with many sites and houses being made accessible to the public for the first time.

Speaking about the week, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. said, “It is fantastic to see the popularity of National Heritage Week grow each year as more and more people across Ireland engage with it, organising and attending events in their community. The range of events taking place during National Heritage Week demonstrates the diversity and importance of Ireland’s heritage. Now more than ever, the contribution that heritage makes to local and national economic development, as well as to Ireland’s tourism offering, is being recognised. I would strongly encourage people in all parts of Ireland to get involved and to take part in National Heritage Week activities in their locality”.