Heritage Week kicked off in a big way in the county last Friday with a magnificent showcase of heritage research and practical application in the Teleworks Centre, Mountbellew.
The Heritage Week event was the culmination of a summer of work under the ‘Reading Your Local Landscape’ training course which was held at the centre between April and July.
Funded by Galway County Council and Creative Ireland, in association with Mountbellew Heritage and Tourism Network, eleven participants received training in all aspects of built, natural and cultural heritage over the course of four months.
The aim of the course was to enable the local participants to identify, examine and record the heritage features of the Mountbellew area through a combination of paper research and fieldwork.
Projects were undertaken after intensive skills training and a range of field trips to local heritage sites.
These included the development of a heritage trail and biodiversity action plan for Mountbellew, and the creation of a tour itinerary to guide visitors around Carrownagappul Bog Bog, where Galway’s Living Bog Project is based.
Audiences were presented with the fruits of their labour on Friday morning.
Marie Mannion, Galway County Council Heritage Officer said ‘the value of this training course can clearly be seen in the calibre of the work presented by the course participants and the participants have made a very valuable contribution towards creating a greater awareness and knowledge of the rich local heritage of the Mountbellew area”
The course was created and delivered by Zena Hoctor, Heritage Specialist, who is based in Kinvara Co. Galway, and covered geology, biodiversity, architecture, archaeology and local culture.
Galway County Community Archaeologist, Dr. Christy Cunniffe led a number of archaeology and cultural heritage field trips.
The outcomes of the course complement the aim of the Creative Ireland Strategy to enable citizen engagement and mainstream creativity into the conservation of local heritage, through community collaboration.
Heritage Week will continue with events taking place throughout Galway city and county until Sunday, August 25.