Heritage News July 2022

Brigid Geoghegan
Brigid Geoghegan • 27 July 2022

Heritage News:

Thanks to everyone who made a submission to or completed the online survey on a new Heritage and Biodiversity Plan for Westmeath. The process of drafting the new Plan will commence in the Autumn. There will be an opportunity for consultation on the Draft Plan.


The ancient Royal Sites of Ireland were one of three successful bids to be included on Ireland’s Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Status, which was announced last week: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/72ef0-ministers-announce-new-world-heritage-tentative-list-for-ireland/. The Royal Sites are: Emain Macha/Navan Fort (Co. Armagh) site of the Kings of Ulster, Dun Ailline (Co. Kildare) site of the King of Leinster, Rathcroghan (Co. Roscommon) for the Kings of Connaught, the Kings of Munster had their seat at The Rock of Cashel (Co. Tipperary), and Tara (Co Meath) in the Ancient fifth province of Midhe was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. The Hill of Uisneach (here in Co. Westmeath), was the centre or ‘omphalos’ where the five kingdoms met. Securing a place on the Tentative List is the first step in the process of consideration for nomination for UNESCO World Heritage Status.


Heritage Week runs from 13th – 21st August 2022. There’s lots planned and most events are Free! Copies of the Printed Guide to Heritage Week Events in Westmeath are now available from your local Library. Pick up a copy and start planning your week

If you prefer to use the online system you will be interested to know that the My events trail feature on heritageweek.ie is live. Click the heart to mark the events you wish to add to your trail. You can then email is, print it or share it online.

You can use this to highlight events happening in your location throughout the week. Please help spread the word about the new feature….


Proposals sought for Culture Night Westmeath - Friday 23rd September The Arts Office of Westmeath County Council is seeking proposals from venues, artists & performers and others interested in being included in this year’s Culture Night Event in Westmeath. Send your proposal by email: arts@westmeathcoco.ie by Fri 29th July at 12 noon. Note: Only applications with a valid tax clearance number can be funded


€340,000 available for projects under the LEADER TRANSITIONAL PROGRAMME & EURI PROGRAMME: Westmeath Community Development on behalf of Westmeath Local Community Development Committee invites Expressions of Interest from potential applicants for projects that meet with the aims and priorities of the Themes and sub-themes of the LEADER Transitional Programme as outlined below;

Economic Development, Enterprise Development & Job Creation

  • Broadband

Rural Environment

Projects/initiatives may include but are not limited to the following; Development of Community gardens and orchards, Tidy towns initiatives aimed at enhancing land and water-based biodiversity Initiatives aimed at promoting biodiversity & its importance within the wider community, Initiatives aimed at promoting the importance of protecting our local water resources, Analysis and Development actions including Feasibility Studies.

Rates of Aid: Capital and equipment projects may qualify for up to 75% grant aid; Analysis & Development (Feasibility Studies/Business Plans) projects, communities up to 90%, private 75% .

Please contact a member of the LEADER Team in Westmeath Community Development to discuss your idea or to request an Expression of Interest Form: Theresa Geoghegan tgeoghegan@westcd.ie; Peter Ormond pormond@westcd.ie; Anna Duffy asduffy@westcd.ie

Closing Date for receipt of Expressions of Interest is 31st August 2022. Eligible expressions of interest will be invited to complete a Full Application for LEADER Funding.


The booklet from the launch of the Virtual Treasury Record of Ireland is now available online by following this link: https://virtualtreasury.ie/backend/flipbooking/century-of-recovery-beyond2022/



Thurs 28th July Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar, 7.30pm: - Westmeath County Council’s Historian in Residence Dr Paul Hughes will give an illustrated talk  the formation of the Civic Guard in Westmeath - about the formation of the Civic Guard – later known as An Garda Síochána – in Westmeath 100 years ago. The event will be chaired by historian Seamus O’Brien, editor of the recently published collection of essays, Westmeath: history and society. Drawing on original source material, Dr Hughes will examine the changing face of policing in Ireland in 1922, and the challenges encountered by an unarmed police force embedding itself in the community during a time of civil war. Dr Hughes will conclude his second term as Westmeath County Council Decade of Centenaries Historian in Residence at the end of this month, when Ian Kenneally will take up residency.

Thurs 28th July –  Fri 13th August, The Atrium Áras an Chontae Exhibition of 'Threading the Táin’  - Tapestry recreating the story of An Táin Bó Cúailnge - the Cattle Raid of Cooley. The famous myth tells the tale of Queen Méabh of Connacht and her husband Ailill, who plot to steal the sacred stud bull Donn Cuailnge from Ulster. The tale traverses counties Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath and Louth. The five-piece stitch tapestryThreading the Táin’ was helmed by Louth based artist Sophie Coyle and artists from each of the five counties oversaw the work on the individual county panels. Claire Delabre, from Handmade Designs in Mullingar, led the Westmeath sewers; Bridie Scally, Brigid Mayes, Margaret Cunnane, Trish Riding and Paula Sheridan.

Sat 30th July 11am – 2pm Biodiversity Walk Ardan Wood. Limited places, register to attend: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/ardan-wood-biodiversity-walk-westmeath-tickets-386313041707?fbclid=IwAR21IDIc9mJY7NV_byWdRDqmfNzDV9YXIdig01hKGWf8w9f2pSLJnKwDK2o


Sat 30th July 2pm Farming For Nature Ambassador Ger Deegan will host a farm walk on his farm in Co. Westmeath. Ger has 100 acres of mixed forestry and runs an organic beef enterprise. Book this walk here https://www.tickettailor.com/events/farmingfornature/695892

Fri 5th August Athlone Castle 1pm and 3pm Join Dave Swift for an enlightening demonstration of material culture of Viking and Early Norman Ireland as represented in archaeology & contemporary literature c. 920 – 1180. This demonstration will be based around museum grade reproductions of 10th to 12th century artefacts including arms and armour, numismatics/silver, dress, accessories, clothing/textiles and leather crafting. This free event does not include admission to Athlone Castle Visitor Centre. Register: info@athlonecastle.ie

Sat 6th August 11am - 5pm and Sun 7th August 11am - 4pm Vikings at Dún na Sí -  fun, family days out. Viking reenactors, all in traditional costume, crafts people and traders with hand made goods will descend upon and camp at Dún na Sí. The Vikings will be camped in the grounds of Dún na Sí. A replica 20ft ship will also be on display. There will be demonstrations throughout each day by crafts people using medieval tools and ancient skills and will include, woodworking, cooking displays, pottery, jewellery making, blacksmith works and rune readings.  For more information visit www.dunnasi.ie/tickets


Melanie McQuade

Heritage Officer

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

(087) 6074496