Open the door to National Heritage Week events in Offaly


Farming with barn owls is under focus during Heritage Week in Offaly

National Heritage Week, one of Ireland’s largest cultural events, runs from Saturday 14th-Sunday 22nd  August. It is being marked locally by a series of heritage projects developed by groups across Offaly.

Local heritage groups and organisers, families, communities and individuals across Offaly have responded to this year’s call to ‘Open the door to heritage’, creating online projects that are free to explore throughout National Heritage Week. Some in-person events will also take place, in line with public health guidelines.

Discover some of the National Heritage Week events happening in Offaly:

A Treasure Story with Simone and friends:  Storytellers Simone Schuemmelfeder and Vinny the Vulture present a story about hidden treasure as well as horrible cures and witchcraft from County Offaly. Storytelling and puppetry for National Heritage Week! This video will go live on the Offaly Libraries Facebook page on Thursday, 19th August at 6.00 pm.  More…

The Meadow - an Offaly Drama Project:  The Meadow is a site-specific sound installation created as an Offaly Drama Project for the former Birr Workhouse. Through a musical setting of historical information and records, The Meadow seeks to give voice to the thousands of lives lost in the workhouse during the Great Famine of 1845-1852. The installation will take place Saturday, 21st August at 7.30pm.  More…

Farming with Barn Owls – Offaly:  BirdWatch Ireland and the Heritage Office of Offaly County Council with the support of the National Biodiversity Action Plan Fund of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government are currently working to better understand the health of Barn Owl populations in the county. At 9am on Friday, 20th August They will release a video celebrating the efforts of local farmers to conserve the Barn Owl and the benefits to biodiversity in Offaly.  More…

For more information on these projects, and to explore others, visit

Spanning natural, cultural and built heritage, projects aim to encourage ‘heritage newcomers’, as well as enthusiasts and experts, to engage with all aspects of Ireland’s heritage. Special emphasis has been placed on engaging individuals and groups who may not traditionally feel included in local heritage, or organising projects that speak to lesser-known aspects of local heritage.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan said: “Ireland’s heritage is as rich and diverse as contemporary Ireland itself. It is something that is shared by all of us and continually evolving.  In this spirit, National Heritage Week is an opportunity to come together and rally around Ireland’s unique heritage. It is also a chance to show our appreciation for those who champion it at community, local and national level, ensuring its preservation, protection and celebration.

“This year’s National Heritage Week offers something for every taste and interest, whether that is natural landscapes, wildlife and habitats, buildings and monuments, or customs and practices like art, sport and music. I encourage people across Ireland to visit the National Heritage Week website and explore projects that might interest them, or find a local event to participate in. National Heritage Week is a special opportunity to reach out and connect with each other through Ireland’s wonderful, precious heritage.”

Two themed days will take place during National Heritage Week. On Wednesday, 18th  August, Wild Child Day encourages children and families to explore the heritage in their locality. On Sunday, 22nd  August, the Heritage Council and the Local Authority Waters Programme invite people to explore National Heritage Week projects that celebrate water and our connections with it.

People interested in attending in-person events are advised to consult the individual event page on the National Heritage Week website, or contact event organisers for full details of registration and attendance, which is subject to the prevailing public health and events guidelines.

Coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, National Heritage Week has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events. It is supported by the Local Authority Heritage Officer network and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

For more information on Heritage Week events near you, and events happening online, visit

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