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Wolfe Tone's base among attractions of Heritage Week

HERITAGE Week is about both hidden and historical Dublin, and it kicks off today.

Those with a taste for culture will get a chance to enjoy some of the city's most significant sights for free.

Tomorrow, Merrion Mews will open for one day only so visitors can meet the horses used by the garda mounted unit at their city centre stables.

The coach house and stalls serve as a rest and watering spot for horses on duty.

There will also be a chance for Dubliners to try their hand at archaeology, with a dig taking place in Merrion Park.

St Patrick's Cathedral will host one of the few pay-in events, but it offers history buffs a rare chance to see artefacts from World War One.


Meanwhile, another hidden historical gem is Tailor's Hall in Back Lane, now An Taisce's headquarters. The building, which sits at the heart of the medieval city, is one of the only remaining guild halls in Dublin.

The parlour upstairs served as a meeting place for Wolfe Tone and members of the Dublin branch of United Irishmen as they plotted to rid the country of penal laws in the late 18th century.

"They were called the Back Lane Parliament and they would have met here with the shutters drawn because they were concerned about spies," said Ian Lumley, an An Taisce tour guide.

The atmospheric basement in Tailor's Hall will soon be made available for weddings, so couples who are looking for a venue with a difference can have a sneak peek.

Tours of Tailor's Hall will take place from Monday to Friday from 3pm.

More than 400,000 visitors are expected to make the most of the many events being organised by An Taisce around the country.

The theme for National Heritage Week 2014 is "Family . . . generations exploring heritage together".

It will take place from today until August 31.