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Explore your Living Heritage! Celebrating National Heritage Week in Carlow Kilkenny!

August 11th, 2023

National Heritage Week has fast become one of my favourite events of the year! This year it runs from the 12th to the 20th of August, and the theme - 'Living Heritage' - invites us all to explore the traditions, practices, knowledge and skills which have been passed down through generations and are still in use today.

Much of what we consider our heritage is in the tangible built and natural heritage we see all around us, and that in itself is well worth celebrating. But our living heritage is also woven with the intangible – the stories we tell, the songs we sing, the games we play. From the GAA to the local choir, from our biodiversity to our genealogy, through our weavers, poets, musicians, silversmiths, and so many more. Whether we know it or not, we are all playing a part every day in keeping our living heritage alive, telling stories, swapping skills, and passing traditions from one generation to the next, and this week is about recognising and celebrating that.

Celebrating our Living Heritage at Na Píobairí Uilleann HQ in Dublin with Piper Muireann Ní Shé

On a local level, National Heritage Week is a great opportunity to get out and learn something new about your local heritage, and I'm grateful I get to celebrate Heritage Week right here in my constituency of Carlow Kilkenny. I’ll be out and about over the next ten days exploring and celebrating the unique crafts, skills, and local knowledge that have remained with us here for generations, and learning from groups and individuals who are keeping that heritage alive.

Nationally there are thousands of events taking place, and I want to commend the hundreds of volunteers, community groups and organisations across the country who, every year, give freely of their own time, expertise and enthusiasm to organise events and share their interest in heritage with the wider community, engaging the next generation of heritage lovers and tradition keepers in the richness of our traditions, crafts, skills and history.

I'd urge everyone to make the most of this week and the events that are offer. Maybe there is an historic site or property that you are curious about? Now is your chance to see it! If you've never visited Kilkenny Castle, admission is free on August 12th! If you want engage with our local heritage and learn more about local history, crafts, buildings, places and traditions, Heritage Week is the perfect opportunity! Most of the events throughout the week are completely free, and many are family friendly, though some do need to charge a small entrance fee. You'll find every event across the country listed on, and there's a simple to use filtering system that allows you to search by day, county or type of event.

Filter your Heritage Week event search by county, day, event type and suitability on

There's an incredible range and variety of events taking place across Kilkenny and Carlow between August 12th and 20th. Almost 90 events are currently listed, including interactive natural heritage events, visits to archaeological sites and historic properties, local history walks and pop-up museums - and events are still being registered.

Some events to look out for in Kilkenny include:

And some interesting events taking place in Carlow include:

There are so many excellent walking tours of gardens, towns, burial grounds, historic and military buildings throughout the week, there really is something for everyone, and I might see you there! Check out and plan your Heritage Week activities today!


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