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Make a Connection with Irish Heritage

With 2018 named the European Year of Cultural Heritage by the European Commission, the varied cultural values and identities of European countries are set to be celebrated and elevated across the year.

Like many countries, understanding and acknowledging Ireland’s compelling and storied past is an important way of connecting with its current cultural identity and its chapters yet to come. With the theme for 2018’s initiative titled ‘Make a Connection’, The Heritage Council (coordinators of the EU initiative in Ireland) aims to deepen and strengthen the Irish citizen’s connection to the breadth of cultural heritage that’s ours to enjoy, appreciate and preserve.

A precious inheritance from the generations that came before, Ireland’s heritage is evident all around us, in our values and our unique traditions. This heritage is also something we can nurture and build upon, in anticipation of the generations coming up behind. Our music, monuments, native customs, folklore, architecture, ancient artifacts and more are all part of the story.

And these cultural treasures are visible just about everywhere. They’re on our streets, in our fields, in our museums, galleries, theatres and in the vibrant creative works and projects being envisioned nationwide 24/7. From the GPO to the Hill of Tara, the GAA to the Irish language, our ever-evolving craft industries, growing artistic talents and the centuries-old landscapes that have seen it all take place, this is the year to engage with and become an active custodian of Ireland’s cultural wellspring.

The Eurobarometer survey found that Irish people have a stronger sense of pride in local heritage sites and are more likely to engage in a traditional activity.

In measuring European attitudes to national cultural heritage, the Eurobarometer survey, (commissioned by the European Commission), found that Irish people have a stronger sense of pride in their local heritage sites, and are more likely to engage in a traditional activity – like playing music or dancing – compared to our EU neighbours.

With scores of events, initiatives, workshops, exhibitions and more, there are plenty of ways to get involved this year. The Little Museum of Dublin is exploring Ireland’s first fashion pioneers with its exhibition Ireland’s Fashion Radicals , workshops in Digital Heritage and Photogrammetry are set to enhance the skills of community heritage groups, a weekly poetry event, Ó Bhéal, is taking place in Cork, while languages of all kinds are welcome at Kilkenny Language Club.

Mother Tongues will celebrate UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day with a multilingual festival, the Headford Lace Project will reignite the 16th-century tradition of bobbin lace making and Bray’s Signal Arts Centre will celebrate ancient megalithic art . A one-day conference Shaping the Future – Urban Regeneration and Adaptive Reuse - Towards Developing a Culture of Innovation and Design , will get heads thinking at Dublin Castle, while a world culture festival is set to light up Ardgillan Castle.

These are just some of the many events taking place across 2018, find out more about the European Year of Cultural Heritage and how you can get involved at