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Press Release-Heritage Week

Press Release                                                                                 

County Kildare Heritage Week 2016

Heritage Week 2016 commences on Saturday 20th August and runs until Sunday 28th August.  This year it is packed full of exciting events across the county, all of which celebrate Kildare’s rich and varied heritage and everyone is invited to come out and get involved. Most events are free.

Heritage Week is part of a European wide initiative with the express aim of fostering awareness of Ireland’s built, natural and cultural heritage, thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation and increasing interest in our shared heritage.

“I am amazed at the number and variety of events happening during Heritage Week this year. We have a hundred events taking place, many of which are organised by history, heritage and tidy towns groups to showcase their local heritage. I have to commend community and heritage groups for their enthusiasm and energy during heritage week each year” said Bridget Loughlin, County Kildare Heritage Officer. 

This year’s theme is ‘One Hundred Years of Heritage’. In this our centenary year, what better time to celebrate the last 100 years of Ireland's heritage: historical, archaeological, architectural and environmental. How did people live, what did they eat, how did they travel, what jobs did they do?  What was life like for a soldier, a farmer, a nurse or a schoolchild? What was important to those that lived in Ireland then, are these things still important to us now? What has been saved and what has disappeared?

From open days at historic buildings to hands-on heritage fun for children there is something for everyone to enjoy this National Heritage Week.  Find out more about life 100 years ago at exhibitions, activities, talks, craft demonstrations, reenactments, tours and more. Explore the events of 1916 by taking of tour of historic Russell Library in Maynooth, by attending the presentation “Noted Gatherings of the last 100 Years” by Mario Corrigan in one of our libraries or attend a talk on John Wynn Baker- Experimental Agriculturist in Elm Hall Golf Club.  Journey to Athy to find out more about the brave exploits of Kildare-born explorer Ernest Shackleton.  Go even further back in time and learn about an Early Bronze Age Cemetery at Moone at a talk by Noel Dunne, Project Archaeologist with TII, in Naas library.

Tea Lane Graveyard Committee are hosting a workshop by Straw Craft Ireland. Exhibits include straw boy’s masks, cradles, corn dollies, woven in an ancient method of straw plaiting unique to Ireland.

Many of Kildare libraries will host a variety of talks and workshops including, “Medieval Kildare - Truly Terrible Tales! in Kildare Library, “The Wild Wonderful Women of 1916” by Fiona Ahern, in Maynooth University Library, “Clongowes Wood – The Early Years” in Clane Library, “William Roantree (1829-1918) The Forgotten Fenian from Leixlip” by Kildare’s Historian-in-Residence, James Durney in Leixlip Library and a display of our collection of military artefacts and uniforms covering 1916 and The Battle of the Somme by Irish Military Vehicles Group in Monasterevin Library.

Castletown House will host many events including a musical recital by Sundance Trio comprising of Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, a Country Market, a tour of the Berkeley 18th/19th century Costume and Toy exhibition, tours of the House and parkland and a display of the history of beekeeping in Kildare in the last century

Kildare Town is rediscovering their medieval past with a festival in the Square and Cathedral.

A number of child friendly events are being held throughout the county including a series of fun events and activities aimed at children of primary school age, exploring Kildare's natural heritage. Such events include child focused tours of Castletown House and Maynooth Castle, Kildare Branch of Birdwatch will host a child friendly introduction to birdwatching in Donadea and Kildare Bat group are leading a number of bat walks throughout the county.

Many properties in private ownership are open during Heritage Week such as Celbridge Lodge, Tea Lane Graveyard, St Mullin's Church, Timolin and St James' Church, Castledermot and the Landmark Trust will host an open day at the Round House and Batty Langley Lodge at Castletown, Celbridge.

To celebrate Heritage Week 2016 the Heritage Council is inviting participants to take part in two national events, National Heritage Week Photography Competition and Heritage Week Competition.  Details of how to enter both competitions can be obtained from the Heritage Week website details below.

This week presents an opportunity to take part in one of the numerous walks organised by community groups to present and explain local heritage and to discover the wealth of fascinating heritage within the county. National Heritage Week is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on not only our heritage but the work of hundreds of Kildare volunteers who give their time to preserve and promote it. 

Kildare County Council has compiled a listing of these and the many other events happening around the County. These are available on and in all local libraries. To view a listing of Heritage Week events in other counties please go to or call 1850 200 978.


Ends                                                                                                              16 August 2016


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