Culture vultures celebrate National Heritage Week
IRELAND is to get a cultural overdose ranging from history tours to Viking combat exhibitions and from poetry readings to evening bat strolls.
Almost 500,000 people nationwide are expected to take part in the biggest programme of events ever organised for National Heritage Week.
The event, run by the Irish Heritage Council, takes place from August 23-31 and offers everything from free music recitals to special museum tours and from walking tours of Irish cities through to personal workshops with artists, poets and historians.
In Dublin, there will be an archaeological extravaganza in Merrion Square where the city's Norse heritage will be to the fore.
In Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford there will be medieval fairs, wildlife walks and lectures, classical music and poetry recitals, traditional music sessions, storytelling, historical re-enactments and local history walks and talks.
The 2012 event generated 10,000 hotel and B&B bed nights and an economic spin-off for participating towns and cities of more than €1.4m.
The biggest programme of events is staged in Dublin, with 203 separate attractions organised and more being confirmed.
Cork's programme was launched by poet Theo Dorgan, with the city proud of the way it has expanded over the past 10 years.
Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys said the week is an unique opportunity to showcase all that is great about Irish culture and history.
"The natural and built heritage of Ireland is a national asset of great importance," she said.
Full details on events that are being staged in your area can be obtained from: www.heritageweek.ie or from your local council office.