Hector helps us take stock of our heritage
Find out how prehistoric flint arrow heads were made, explore the secrets of the Masons, or attend the wedding of Strongbow and Aoife -- they are among more than 1,600 events during National Heritage Week, which starts on August 18.
For only the second time since 1739, the normally secretive Athlone Masonic Hall in Co Westmeath will open its doors.
Elsewhere, the tricks ancient craftsmen used to create arrows will be unveiled in a workshop in Ballyferriter, Co Kerry; and a re-enactment of the wedding of Strongbow and Aoife marks the 842nd anniversary of the historical event.
Radio presenter Hector O hEochagain, who yesterday launched details of the week, said most events were free and urged parents trying to entertain children during the summer holidays to bring them along.
"You just look out the window and say what are we going to do today? You can't always go to an activity centre," he said.
Traditional Indian dance workshops will be held at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin; while Olympic posters dating to 1952 can be viewed in Donegal; the Beamish and Crawford Brewery in Cork will open its doors for tours; Tipperary's hurling greats can be explored in Thurles and family tree masterclasses will take place in Kilkenny.
Heritage Council chief executive Michael Starrett said many doors were being opened for the first time, among them the Apprentice Boys museum in Derry. For more information visit www.heritageweek.ie