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National Heritage Week 2020 is underway in County Wicklow

National Heritage Week 2020 is underway in County Wicklow – but not as it was in previous years.

Co-ordinated nationally by The Heritage
Council and supported locally by the Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council, the big change to the programme this year has been a move away from hosting events to a focus on highlighting worthwhile  Heritage Projects.

“The  new ‘virtual’ format may have been a little challenging  for traditional Heritage week organisers at the start”, says Deirdre Burns , Heritage Officer with Wicklow County Council, ” however  we are absolutely thrilled with the level of engagement in Wicklow this year with a staggering 40 plus Heritage projects registered.

“The move away from a solely events-based programme has encouraged us all to communicate Wicklow’s heritage in new and creative mediums, the outputs from which will have a long-lasting legacy that extends far beyond Heritage Week.”

For Heritage Week 2020 – the annual celebration of natural, built and cultural heritage – people can choose to participate and engage  in a wide range of formats, be it through videos, podcasts, zoom workshops, articles , quizzes, trails and tutorials. All Heritage Week projects are listed on www.heritageweek.ie website where the user can search via theme or location.

Our Wicklow Heritage, the recently launched community heritage website for sharing and storing information about County Wicklow’s nature, history and culture, has proven an invaluable tool for hosting Heritage Projects and has greatly assisted smaller community groups without their own websites.

Among the highlights this year, the Heritage Office is pleased to announce the launch of the  Preban Living Graveyard project , a specially commissioned seven part podcast series  from Fin Dwyer of Irish History Podcast which will be broadcast daily from 17th August see https://irishhistorypodcast.ie/stories-from-a-living-graveyard/.

Also to be launched is a series of short videos documenting the efforts of the Glendalough Heritage Forum and the latest River Liffey Stories videos.

A selection of the many projects hosted on the Our Wicklow Heritage website  include the new Wicklow Decade of Centenaries – War of Independence historians archive; Our Wicklow Heritage Hidden History videos; River Liffey Stories short films; Brittas Bay Nature presentation;  Dunlavin Diversions, a  collection of articles from historian Chris Lawlor; Saving Swifts in Wicklow slideshow; Wicklow As Gaeilge, our  crowd sourced photographic exhibition with Cainteoiri Chill Mhantáin;  Nature on your doorstep  an online children’s art and photography exhibition; and Together Apart our unique collection capturing a snapshot of Wicklow life in 2020 featuring articles, short stories, artwork, poems, photographs and even jokes.

County Wicklow Library service has similarly risen to the challenge with an extensive and engaging programme that includes online exhibitions on the local history collection, a video on the origin of Carnegie Libraries,  zoom workshops on topics such as  seed saving, puppet making and nature education, and a heritage trail quiz around Blessington.

For full details on these and other Heritage Week 2020 events visit www.heritageweek.ie.

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