The Countdown is on for Heritage Week in Sligo

The Countdown is on for Heritage Week in Sligo At the launch of Heritage Week 2023 in Sligo were (L to R) Siobhán Ryan, Heritage Officer, SCC; Cllr. Gerard Mullaney, Cathaoirleach, SCC; Cllr. Donal Gilroy, Chairperson, Sligo Heritage Forum; Wendy Lyons, Vice-Chair, Sligo Heritage Forum; Martin Lydon, Chief Executive, Sligo County Council. Photo James Connolly Picsell8.

National Heritage Week 2023 takes place this year from Saturday 12th to 20th August.

A colourful range of events and projects celebrating all aspects of our heritage will take place across County Sligo as communities, families, holiday makers and people of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to get out and explore their heritage.

Heritage Week is coordinated nationally by The Heritage Council in partnership with the Local Authority Heritage Officer Network and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.  National Heritage Week has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events, celebrating Ireland’s built, natural and cultural heritage and aiming to generate awareness, appreciation and preservation of our wonderful heritage resource.

The theme for National Heritage Week this year is ‘Living Heritage’ which is defined as the practices, knowledge and skills that have been passed from one generation to the next and are still in use today.

Some event highlights in Sligo this year include: A Tour of Sligo Abbey with Dr. Kieran O’Conor; Bridges of the Unshin – A talk by Gary Salter; A tour of Coopershill House, Riverstown; Thatching: A demonstration of Techniques, Use of Tools and Materials; a Rathcormac Biodiversity Walk led by Micheal Bell of Nature Learn; a Bat Walk along the Garavogue River in the company of Ruth Hanniffy, Sligo Biodiversity Officer;  a talk on The Battle of Carrignagat in 1798 and, Making Harvest Knot Workshops at Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery.  Details of all Heritage Week events happening across the county are available on .

National Heritage Week will also see the continued celebration of themed heritage days, when project organisers can develop specific themed activities.  On Wild Child Day, The Heritage Council encourages kids and families to make the most of the outdoors to explore the heritage in their locality and beyond. This year’s Wild Child Day will take place on Saturday, 19th August.  Water Heritage Day will take place on Sunday, 20th August as a collaboration between The Heritage Council and the Local Authority Waters Programme. As an island nation, our history and heritage have been shaped by the sea and the great Irish rivers, lakes and wetlands. Water Heritage Day will highlight projects that celebrate water and our connections with it.

It’s not too late to get involved in Heritage Week 2023.  Events and completed digital projects can still be uploaded via the organiser’s portal at right up to the final day on Sunday 20th August. For those creating in-person events, you are encouraged to register your event as soon as possible to allow time for promotion of the event.  

Siobhan Ryan, Heritage Officer with Sligo County Council outlined,

‘We are encouraging everyone to get involved and to support the efforts of the many individuals and groups who have organised events for National Heritage Week in County Sligo.’   She added ‘The success of Heritage Week is wholly dependent on all the event organisers across the county, who are enthusiastic, committed and volunteer their time in order to make Heritage Week in Sligo the great success it is.  Without their interest, hard work and voluntary commitment this week would not be possible’.

Heritage Week gives us the opportunity to revel in the best of the built and natural heritage of our County, whether it is attending a talk, going for a guided walk or visiting a local heritage site. This is just the beginning though. Most of the Heritage sites celebrated during Heritage Week are open all year-round. The museums of the County, many built heritage sites and wildlife areas are all there to be explored at any time.

Want to find out more?

Updates and details of Heritage Week events nationally are available on  While regular Heritage Week updates for Sligo will be posted on the Sligo Heritage Office Facebook page.

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