A lecture on the White Tailed Eagles of Mountshannon, the Spirit of Lough Derg hidden heritage series and the reintroduction of Ballyvaughan Apple Trees to the Burren are amongst a record 47 separate events taking place during Heritage Week in Clare from 18th to 26th August.
The 10th annual celebration of County Clare’s built, natural and cultural heritage is being coordinated locally by Clare County Council and The Heritage Council, with support from Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. Heritage Week also is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union.
Heritage Week 2012 will feature a series of events focusing on Clare’s heritage through the numerous guided walks and lectures taking place in venues around the County, including at local museums and libraries.
Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Daly is urging members of the public to participate in the events taking place across County Clare. He added: “I wish to pay tribute to the many individuals and community organisations that are participating in and contributing to Heritage Week 2012. I would like to commend Clare County Council and the organisers of dozens of events for encouraging a greater sense of ownership of and respect for the County’s unique and rich heritage.”
“Heritage Week has proven to be a wonderful vehicle for involving people across Clare in raising awareness of the role we all play in conserving and protecting our heritage for future generations. Furthermore, the events provide children with an ideal opportunity to enjoy the end of their summer holidays before returning to school at the end of the month,” added Mayor Daly.
According to Congella McGuire, Clare Heritage Officer: “Heritage Week has been running for ten years. It continues to grow from strength to strength with more communities becoming involved. It is an opportunity for us all to highlight Clare’s wonderful heritage. There are a wide range of events scheduled to take place this year. Many events are free of charge and advance booking is advised.”
“Clare County Council, the Heritage Council and Clare Heritage Forum wish to thanks all the individuals and community groups who are taking part in Heritage Week. In particular, we wish to acknowledge the great work done by individuals and groups with an interest in all aspects of heritage in the County,” concluded Ms. McGuire.
On Saturday 18 August from 7 to 8pm, the “Spirit of Lough Derg” series will get underway with a talk at Mountshannon Hotel hosted by Allan Mee of the Golden Eagle Trust on the White Tailed Sea Eagles that nested in Mountshannon this year, the first of the species to do so in Ireland in over a century. From 10am to 6pm, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre will present a “Nature Display Area” featuring collected items of local natural heritage. At the same time, the Shannon Traditional Boat Club will host a display at the Skycourt Shopping Centre of boat built by club members as well as the history behind the project. At 7pm, a Photographic Exhibition will be launched at Parliament Street in Ennistymon in conjunction with Built Heritage Collective (Ireland).
On Sunday 19 August from 10am to 12pm, the Clare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland is inviting members of the public to the Bridges of Ross to view seabirds as they migrate on their on their southbound passage. From 12pm to 2:30pm, the Burren National Park Information Point at Corofin will be the location for a children’s event in which participants will offered the opportunity to explore and discover the Burren National Park through arts and crafts. Also on Sunday from 2 to 6pm, there will be a free guided tour of the 15th century church of Kilraghtis and its graveyard in Barefield. The vent will also feature the launch of a booklet containing a background to the parish and full transcriptions of the burial monuments contained within the graveyard and church. From 2 to 5pm, the OPW will host a free guided tour of the Scattery Island Monastic Trail taking in the island’s archaeology, history and natural habitat of grassland and wildlife. “The Medicine and Folklore of Burren Wildflowers” will be the subject of an informative and entertaining guided walk celebrating the folklore and medicinal value of Burren wildflowers from 10am to 12pm. The walk will be led from Gortlecka Cross in Kilnaboy by herbalist Vivienne Campbell and author Tony Kirby. Elsewhere, the Office of Public Works (OPW) will provide free guided tours of the 13th century Ennis Franciscan Friary from 2 to 5pm, while Whale Watch Ireland 2012 will provide a unique opportunity for the public to take part in a land-based and guided whale watch at Ballyreen near Fanore and Loop Head Lighthouse.
On Monday 20 August from 7.30 to 9.30pm, the 10th century St. Cronans Church in Tuamgraney will be the venue for the “Celtic Traditions Folk Concert”, which is being held as part of the “Spirit of Lough Derg” series of events during Heritage Week. The concert will showcase the best of folk music and dancing from Kate Purcell and an array of local musicians and dancers. From 4 to 5pm, Cormac McGinley will lead a guided nature tour of the Cliffs of Moher. From 10am to 4pm, the Burren Outdoor Education Centre and Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark will host a “Geo Explorer Day”, during which the public will be able to explore the geology and landscape of the Burren by kayaking or hill-walking in the morning and by caving or seashore stroll in the afternoon. The “Spirit of Lough Derg” series continues from 7 to 8pm with a talk on the biodiversity and natural heritage assets of Ballycuggeran Woods. From 10am to 4pm, a workshop on the techniques behind recording a graveyard will be held at Kilmacreehy Graveyard. The final event of the day at 8pm will see historian Leonore Fischer will give a talk on the general history of East Clare and Tuamgraney at St. Cronans in Tuamgraney, as part of the “Spirit of Lough Derg” series.
At the same venue on Tuesday 21 August from 9 to 10pm, Gerard Madden will provide an illustrated talk on “Lough Derg and Its Islands”. Earlier in the evening at 7pm, noted local historian Brian O’Dalaigh will discuss the background to the newly published Royal Irish Academy “Ennis Atlas” at De Valera Public Library in Ennis. From 3 to 4pm, earthquakes will be the subject of a walk and talk by Cormac McGinley at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. The Geology theme continues from 2pm to 3:30pm at Fanore Beach when archaeologist Michael Lynch delivers a lecture on the excavation of a Late Mesolithic Shell Midden at Fanore More. From 9pm to 10:30pm, David Lyons of the Clare Bat Group will lead a dusk walk around the village of Quin during which participants will watch and listen to the local bat population. The West Clare Resource Centre in Miltown Malbay will host a Traditional Crafts & Heritage Day from 11am to 4pm. The day will feature jam making, poultry and animal keeping, a display of goats cheese, cooking demonstration, willow sculpture, butter making, corn dollies, weave spinning, a display of quilting and spinning, storytelling with Spraoi & Cuimhneamh an Chláir, a farmers market, building a bug hotel, and a biodiversity talk. Elsewhere, Gerry Kennedy will host a genealogy event entitled “Starting your Family Tree” at 11am in Ennistymon Library and at 3pm in Miltown Malbay Library, while a children’s scavenger hunt and nature activities will take place along the nature trails of the Burren National Park from 2 to 4pm with participants meeting at Gortlecka Cross in Kilnaboy.
On Wednesday 22 August from 7.30pm to 9pm, the Clare Inn Hotel will host a family friendly
Bat Meeting that has been held annually during Heritage Week for many years. Organised by the Clare Association of An Taisce, the talk will be followed by a bat walk at dusk. From 11.30am to 3.30pm, Kilnaboy School will be the gathering point for a walk with a difference as participants are introduced to the flowers, butterflies, geology, archaeology, farming, and culture of the Burren. The event, which is being coordinated by (Burrenbeo Trust and The Clare Branch of the Irish Wheelchairs Association, will conclude with tea and scones at Father Ted’s house. An event showcasing the results of Dúchas na Sionna’s project to conserve the remains of Hastings Farmhouse, Shannon’s oldest traditional building, will be held at the farmhouse from 7 to 9pm. The event will also feature a talk on the history of the building and the capture of General Lucas during the War of Independence. A mass to remember the victims of the Great Hunger will be held at 7pm at the Famine Memorial Park in Casaoireach, the burial grounds of the famine victims located between Tuamgraney and Bodyke. From 4 to 7pm, a Guided Nature tour of the Cliffs of Moher will take place. “The Story of the West Clare Railway” will be the subject of a talk by Jackie Whelan of the West Clare Railway at the Kilkee Bay Hotel from 8 to 9pm. The talk will be accompanied by images of the trains going back to the 19th century. At 8pm in the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, Risteard UaCroinin (Clare County Council’s Architectural Conservation Officer) will give an illustrated talk on the numerous surviving late mediaeval buildings in Ennis. The talk will focus on the discoveries made in the town during the last decade supporting the opinion that Ennis may be the most intact Gaelic mediaeval town in Ireland. It will include a discussion on the recently conserved 16th century McParland’s building in Parnell Street, considered to be the last surviving half timbered house in the country. At 2pm in Quin, with Joseph McCooey (OPW guide for Quin Friary) will host a talk and walk through St. Finghin’s Church and the Quin Friary complex. Elsewhere on Wednesday, Geologist Eamon Doyle of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark will provide a guided geology walk up Mullaghmore Mountain from 10am to 2pm, Fiona de Buitléir and Eric Shaw will host a workshop entitled ‘Genealogy for Beginners’ from 11am to 12pm at Killaloe Library and at Scarriff Library from 3 to 4pm.
On Thursday 23 August from 5.15pm to 7pm, Cliffs of Moher Cruises will host a guided geology tour from Doolin Pier to Liscannor. From 8.30pm to 11.30pm, the Burren College of Art in Newtown will be the venue for a lecture by Dr. Stephen Ward on tree and shrub blossoms and their positive effect on the ecology of the Burren. A free seed saving demonstration will take place at the Irish Seed Savers Association facility in Scarriff from 3 to 4pm, a bat walk will take place at Dromore Woods near Ruan from 9 to 10:30pm, the Courthouse Gallery and Studios in Ennistymon will host a talk at 8pm that explores the rich history of north Clare, Gerry Kennedy will present “Starting your Family Tree” at Scariff Library from 7 to 8pm, and Larry Brennan and Eric Shaw will host “Genealogy for Beginners” sessions at Sixmilebridge Library from 11am to 12pm and at Shannon Library from 3 to 4pm.
On Friday 24 August from 10:30am to 12:30pm, the public is invited to take part in a guided walk along the river Shannon to discover the local bats of Killaloe and Ballina. From 11am to 12pm, Kilrush Library will be the venue for a public talk, entitled “Genealogy for Beginners”, which will be hosted by the Clare Roots Society and Clare Library. At Ballyvaughan/Belharbour from 10am to 2pm, Tiernan Henry of NUI Galway will host a guided tour focusing on the Hydrogeology of the Burren. From 2 to 4pm, Frances Madigan will lead a stroll through the streets of Ennistymon to discover the history of the old Market Town. Following the walk, the public will have the opportunity to meet the artists at the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon. Philip Brennan and Cliona Fox will talk about the inspiration for their current work, which will be the subject of an exhibition launch at 5pm. Later that day from 7:30 to 9:30pm, archaeologist Risteard Ua Croinin will provide a guided tour of Dysert O’Dea Castle & Clare Archaeology centre. From 7 to 8pm, Waterpark House in Ennis will be the venue for the Launch of new Royal Irish Academy publication, “Ennis Atlas”. At the same time, Paddy Waldron of the Clare Roots Society will give a talk entitled Myles of Myles Creek at the Sweeney Memorial Public Library in Kilkee.
On Saturday 25 August from 11:30am to 12:30pm, the O’Briensbridge Community Group will unveil heritage information boards to highlight heritage sites all along the route of the O’Briensbridge Walks. From 11.30am to 1:30pm, public tours of the restored 19th century Merchant’s House in Kilrush. Ruth Minogue will host a Spirit of Lough Derg” Treasure Trail to educate children about 5,000 years of local history from 12 to 4pm. The Trail will commence from East Clare Heritage Centre in Tuamgraney. From 1 to 2pm, Stephen McDonagh of Clare County Council will take members of the public on a guided tour around one of six Napoleonic Batteries built along the Shannon Estuary between 1806 and 1815 by the British War Department to deter a French Invasion. From 5 to 6pm the “Spirit of Lough Derg” series continues when East Clare Heritage hosts a special screening of showing of the Oscar-nominated animated film, “The Secret Book of Kells, at St. Cronan’s Church in Tuamgraney. Meanwhile, Ballymorris Pottery in Cratloe will be the venue for a pottery demonstration from 10am to 5:30pm during which the public will be able to glaze and fire a pottery piece.
On Sunday 26th August from 10am to 4pm, members of the public will have an opportunity to visit the Loop Head Lightkeepers’ House and view the restoration work that has been carried out by the Irish landmark Trust. From 12 to 5pm, Mooghaun Hillfort in Newmarket-on-Fergus will host a Heritage Day featuring guided tours of the hill fort as well as traditional craft demonstrations and storytelling. From 2 to 4pm, the Clare Heritage Centre in Corofin will host a Mini-Beast Hunt during which participants will be invited to explore the mini-beasts of the Burren with a bug hunt along the Burren Nature Trail. In Ennis, the OPW will be providing free tours of the 13th century Franciscan Friary. The OPW also will be providing a guided tour of the Scattery Island Monastic Trail taking in the history and the flora and fauna of the island from 2 to 5pm. Meanwhile, Ballymorris Pottery in Cratloe will once again host a “Hands On” pottery session from 12 to 5:30pm.
From Friday to Sunday (24-26 August), a joint project involving the Clare Biodiversity Group and Scarriff-based Irish Seedsavers Association will see the community of Ballyvaughan planting 30 Ballyvaughan Apple trees at different locations throughout the village. The native tree has been not been grown in the north Clare village for a number of years.
Each day from Monday to Friday ( 20-24 August) from 1to 3pm, sculptor Shane Gilmore will be on-site at the Cliffs of Moher to restore an existing wooden sculpture depicting the world famous visitor attraction in Oak. At Quin Friary from 11am to 3pm each day from Tuesday to Friday (21-24 August), there will be a guided tour of the Norman Castle and Franciscan Friary.
From 18-26 August, various venues in the village of Tulla, including Tulla Courthouse, will host an Arts Trail aimed at showcasing local talent and encouraging the community to get involved in the arts. Elsewhere from Monday to Friday (20-24 August) from 9am to 5pm, Áras Contae an Chláir will host “The Famine in Clare” exhibition, which will centre upon the workhouses in Clare.
From Saturday 18th August to Saturday 25th August from 10am to 5pm, the Foyer of the County Museum in Ennis will host an exhibition of paintings by Carmel Madigan on the “Wild Flowers of Loop Head” to accompany the publication of the same name. Each day during Heritage Week, the public is being offered free entry to Irish Seed Savers to enjoy the facility’s’ 20 acres of heritage organic seed gardens, orchards and woodlands. A free kids “Garden Trail and Bug Hunt” will hosted each day by Irish Seed Savers. From Wednesday to Friday (22-24 August), Burrenbeo Trust will host will the “Learning Landscape Symposium – From Apathy to Empathy: Reconnecting People and Place”, which will bring together leading local, national and international thinkers and practitioners who specialise in the theme of place-based learning.
For more details of events taking place throughout County Clare visit www.heritageweek.ie or www.clarecoco.ie. For further information contact Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare; Tel: 065-6821616; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.