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Minister Humphreys kicks off activities for National Heritage Week

Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today (Saturday, 23rd August) said that she is delighted to launch the opening event of National Heritage Week at Merrion Square.

National Heritage Week, which aims to promote awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage so we can encourage its conservation and preservation, takes place from Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st August 2014. In celebration of the United Nations 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family this year’s theme is ‘Family – generations exploring heritage together’.

Speaking at the launch this afternoon, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to be able to kick off National Heritage Week here in Merrion Square, where there is an impressive array of exhibitions and demonstrations on display. This year, more than 1,700 events are taking place nationwide as part of Heritage Week, which shows just how highly local communities value and take an interest in their heritage.”

“It is heartening to see the interest in our heritage from all ages here at today’s family friendly event. This year’s family theme is highly appropriate because ultimately it is families, playing their part in local communities, who are the custodians of our local heritage and who will pass on traditions and knowledge to the next generation.”

“I would like to commend the work undertaken by communities in our cities, towns and villages who will make this year’s National Heritage Week yet another success. I would encourage everyone to take some time out to visit one of the many events taking place in your local area this week.”

The opening event in Merrion Square features something for all ages with exhibitions, demonstrations of traditional skills, Viking re-enactments and even a bouncy Dolman. Archaeologists from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are also on hand to talk about the work of the National Monuments Service.


The Heritage Council co-ordinates Heritage Week in close partnership with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, local authorities, the Office of Public Works, museums, galleries, libraries and voluntary groups throughout the country.

Event listings can be found at and many events are free.

The following is a sample of the exhibitions and demonstrations taking place in Merrion Square today:

The School of Irish Archaeology Big Dig, where children get the opportunity to excavate a replica Viking house foundation with real archaeologists.

Dublin Living History Society, where you can witness Viking-era combat displays and engage with living history specialists.

Archaeological specialists’ tent, where you can meet with environmental specialists and learn about human bones, ancient beetles, pollen, wooden artefacts and much more.

Artist Jim Ricks is bringing his bouncy dolmen, which is based on the shape of Poulnabrone dolmen and is a must for children of all ages.

Earthsound geophysics, where you can discover what archaeological treasures may lie beneath your feet with James Bonsall and his geophysics rig.

Flint knapper Anthonio Akkermaans is showcasing the ancient technology of flint knapping.