Heritage news and events 20th May

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Ursula.Harper • 25 May 2022


The Local Authority Pollinator Award in the national Tidy Towns competition is open for entries. The award has a total prize fund of €10,000, including a Newcomer Award of €1,000, and is open to all groups participating in the national Tidy Towns competition. The award encourages and rewards Tidy Towns groups for managing towns and villages in a pollinator-friendly way.  The Local Authority Pollinator Award supports the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and is sponsored and managed by Local Authority Heritage Officers in partnership with the National Biodiversity Data Centre.  The deadline for entries is Friday 10th June. Application forms for the 2022 award are available here: Local Authority Pollinator Award 2022 (English)


10th annual Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition is open for entries! Open to all amateur photographers, deadline for submission is May 31st. For details see: https://biodiversityweek.ie/photo-competitions/terms-and-conditions/


Nature Hero Awards for schools Biodiversity in Schools have announced the rollout of the Nature Hero Awards – Ireland’s first, standalone outdoor learning award for schools.  It is a mark of excellence for a school that recognises exceptional work to create an educational space that nurtures a love of nature, develops a knowledge of our biodiversity and encourages action to help it locally. One lucky school who demonstrates an outstanding contribution to outdoor learning will win a school garden upgrade worth €10,000 thanks to the sponsor, Glenveagh Homes. Further details at https://www.biodiversityinschools.com/nature-hero-awards.html

Heritage for the past, present and future National Heritage Week 2022 will take place from Sat 13th to Sun 21st August with the return of in-person events as well as continuing to showcase digital heritage projects, which proved so popular over the last two years, and is all about engaging with heritage to create a more resilient world, in particular exploring sustainability and biodiversity. Further information and for some things to consider when planning your project go to  https://www.heritageweek.ie/news/national-heritage-week-2022

The Heritage Council in association with TUS (Technological University of the Shannon) are offering a Certificate in Energy Renovation for Traditional Buildings (Level 8)  Suitable for Architects, Building Surveyors, Engineers (structural and mechanical & electrical), Architectural Conservation Officers, Planners, BER Assessors and anybody else seeking pathways to compliance with the energy efficiency requirement of the Building Regulations. First module June/July Full details at https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/news/news-features/certificate-in-energy-renovation-for-traditional-buildings




Biodiversity Week 2022Free events, all welcome. The listed events are funded by the Heritage Council and NPWE, DHLGH via their Local Biodiversity Action Fund with support from Westmath County Council.

Fri 20th May, 9:40pm - Bat Walk around Portlick Forest led by Áine Fenner from the Midlands Bat Group. There will be an opportunity to see and hear some of these fascinating creature and to learn about the life cycle of bats. Meet at the car park.

Sat 21st May. 12- 2pm – Biodiversity Walk on the Old Rail Trail led by Ecologist Goska Wilkowska. Meet at Moate Railway Station.


Sat 21st May at 11 am The 2nd annual East Galway Emigrants and Exiles Conference will be on via Zoom. This year’s focus will be on the Famine Lost Generation, those who left as a result of the hardships and starvation of Black 47, and how in spite of huge adversity their resilience ensured success for some and survival for most. Marking the 175th anniversary of that infamous year in Irish history as well by a DNA Project where free kits, sponsored by the group, are available to people who can trace their lineage back at least 3 generations in east Galway – covering all of the parishes east of the Corrib/Atlantic and west of the Suck / Shannon. More details by emailing Martin martinjcurley@gmail.com or  facebook.com/groups/eastgalwaygenealogy.


Fri 3rd – Sun 5th June 38th Annual Goldsmith festival for details see: https://olivergoldsmithfestival.com/

Fri 3rd June free public seminar on the needs of Traditional Building Skills at ATU Galway City followed on Sat 4th June by a workshop at the Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna: a practical workshop on traditional lime mortars with Mathieu & Mitchell Ltd. Funded by the Heritage Council and hosted by the Department of Heritage and Tourism, Galway International Hotel School, the seminar will involve a panel discussion between representatives from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB Ireland), education providers and representatives of the traditional skills sector. It will focus on the recently published report “A Living Tradition: A Strategy to Enhance the Understanding, Minding and Handing on of Our Built Vernacular Heritage - prepared by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage” which sets out actions to ensure vernacular skills are sustainable within the next generation and calls for the involvement of individuals and bodies to analyse the current state and future needs of sector, through public events involving stakeholders. Booking is through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/traditional-skills-building-a-sustainable-sector-tickets-329566832267


Tues 7th June, 6-8pm, Connecting communities with peatlands -  Ideas Generation Workshops for Westmeath. Connecting Communities to Peatlands’ will deliver a series of two-hour online workshops to generate ideas on ways we can connect with peatlands in Ireland’s midlands. These workshops will follow a creative problem-solving process called design thinking. Design thinking is for everyone. It lays out a clear path for people to follow and encourages a positive mindset so people can learn about each other and their needs. If your community is interested in taking part, click on the link below or get in touch! Email: aoife@irishrurallink.ie. Please note that spaces are limited. Click here to register and choose the appropriate date for your county area.


15th -18th June Irish Civil War National Conference. University College Cork, supported and funded by the Dept. of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will host a 4-day national conference to mark the centenary of the Irish Civil War from where all aspects of the Civil War will be examined, including political, social, cultural, gender, military and economic dimensions. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event. Further information/registration at - https://www.ucc.ie/en/theirishrevolution/irish-civil-war-national-conference-june-2022/

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Melanie McQuade

Heritage Officer

Westmeath County Council, Áras an Chontae, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. N91 FH4N

(087) 6074496

Westmeath Heritage  Wmeathheritage