Kilkenny to hold record number of events for Heritage week

KILKENNY is gearing up to be the front runner in the number of events being planned for the increasingly popular Heritage Week, running from Saturday August 20 to Sunday, August 28.

KILKENNY is gearing up to be the front runner in the number of events being planned for the increasingly popular Heritage Week, running from Saturday August 20 to Sunday, August 28.

And with such an undertaking, the Heritage Council have issued a call for volunteers to come forward and be County Ambassadors for Kilkenny.

Ireland’s heritage is a key attraction for overseas visitors each year and there is an opportunity to engage with tourists while they are here on holidays. The Heritage Council County Ambassador Volunteer Programme will recruit volunteers to become County Ambassadors, located in the local Tourism Information Office throughout National Heritage Week. Their role will be to provide tourists with information on what is happening in the local area as part of the week. Training and support will be provided by the Council and Fáilte Ireland to all volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a County Kilkenny Ambassador for the week, log on to

Ministererial meeting

Recently, Minister of State Jimmy Deenihan met with the various Heritage Officers from the County Councils in Killarney and Kilkenny’s own Dearbhla Ledwidge was in attendance.

The Minister specifically mentioned Kilkenny as a good example of a city that had retained its heritage and character”, said Dearbhala Ledwidge.

When the Heritage Council first took over the running of National Heritage Week in 2005 there were just 500 events taking place during the week. Today the week is over double the size and this is a direct result of the increasing levels of community involvement we are seeing nationwide, in particular among volunteer groups. Last year, over 370,000 people attended events throughout the week, with over 1300 events already registered for 2011 we expect this year to be the biggest National Heritage Week to date”.

This year will see the old Irish tradition of storytelling being celebrated as the first day of National Heritage Week (Saturday 20th August) designated National Tell Tale Day. Whilst Heritage Week in itself tells the rich and diverse story of our Heritage over 100 specific storytelling themed events for children and adults will take place across the country during the week.

A snapshot of some of the events taking place in County Kilkenny during National Heritage Week 2011:

Medieval & Tudor Re-enactments (Free), 20th August 11:00 – 16:00. Rothe House & Garden, Parliament Street, Kilkenny. Medieval and Tudor re-enactments in the garden (access through New Building Lane). Event Organizer: Rothe House & Garden, Roisin McQuillan,, 056 7722893.

Historical River Walk (Free), 26th August 18:30 – 20:30. Meet at Thomastown GAA Grounds, Grennan, Thomastown. A free historical river walk starting at Grennan south of Thomastown as far as Dysart. Event Organizer: Thomastown Community River Trust, Joe Dunphy,, 086 8897131.

Demonstration on Making Stained Glass (Free), 27th August 10:30 – 12:00. Workshop of Joe Sheridan, Newtown, Kells. Demonstration on the making of stained glass. Event Organizer: Callan Heritage Societ, Philip Lynch,, 056 7725309.

River Barrow Cruise (€12) 20th August 14:30 – 16:30. New Ross, The Galley Cruise New Ross Co Wexford, Kilkenny. Cruise of River Barrow to mark 220th anniversary of the river as a navigable waterway. Event Organiser: South Kilkenny Historical Society, Eddie Synnott,, 086 8124349.

Free Admission to Kilkenny Castle (Free), 20th, 22nd- 27th August 16:00 – 17:00, 21st & 28th August 09:00 – 17:00. Kilkenny Castle. Parts of the Castle may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. If you have any concerns, please contact us before visiting. Event Organizer: Kilkenny Castle, OPW, Izabel Pennec-Murphy,, 056 770 4100.

Demonstration of Stone Cutting (normal admission rates), Wednesday 24th August, 10.00 – 15.00. Jerpoint Abbey, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. Demonstration of stone cutting in the grounds of the 12th century Cistercian monastery renowned for its stone carving.. Booking essential. Event Organiser: Jerpoint Abbey OPW

Email:, Telephone: 056 7724623

Shieldmaking & Storytelling (Free), Monday 22nd August 11.00 – 15.00. Rothe House, Parliament Street, Kilkenny. Children will hear recitals of old celtic legends while making their very own shields! Note: All shields will be made of “art & craft” cardboard. Children are free to keep their shields. Places are limited please book early to avoid disappointment. Event Organiser: Young Heritage Society, Nathan Mannion, Email:, Telephone: 056 7722893.

Event Guide

50,000 copies of the National Heritage Week Event Guide, launched today are now available free throughout the country in Fáilte Ireland Tourist Offices, Libraries, OPW Sites, Bus Eireann Stations, County Council Offices etc.

Complete event listings are also available on the National Heritage Week website,

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