Buildings open for Heritage Week
Published 19/08/2011 | 12:02
Historic buildings across the country are throwing open their door to the public in a major celebration of Irish heritage.
Organisers of National Heritage Week are expecting a record 370,000 people to take part in more than 1,400 events.
Attractions include learning how the 1916 Proclamation was printed at the National Print Museum, exploring lightkeepers' houses along the coast and a medieval weapons display in Co Donegal.
Visitors are also being invited to listen to a traditional music session in Dublin's Botanical Gardens, to tour the tower and ringing room of St Patrick's Cathedral, explore the mystery of Tara in Co Meath, or even follow US President Barack Obama's tour of Co Offaly.
The nine-day programme kicks off on Saturday, running until August 28, and the majority of events are free to attend, according to organisers the Heritage Council.
Michael Starrett, chief executive of the Heritage Council, said hundreds of people are volunteering their time to organise events in their local areas.
"When the Heritage Council first took over the running of National Heritage Week in 2005, there were just 500 events taking place during the week," he said.
"Today the week is well over double the size and this is a direct result of the increasing levels of community involvement we are seeing nationwide."
Mr Starrett added: "I would encourage everyone to check what events are happening in their local areas. You may be surprised to see what heritage is on your doorstep."
Go to the website www.heritageweek.ie for full event listings.