The Irish environment and heritage minister, Dick Roche, has launched a new website to inform people about the myriad events and activities on offer planned for this years Irish heritage week this year. Heritage week runs from 4-11 Sept and is part of an initiative promoted by the European Union entitled European Heritage Days. Co-ordinated by the heritage council, the week involves over 650 events, organized both nationally and locally and includes water heritage day on 10 Sept, which highlights the importance of water as part of Irelands natural resources.

The website lists events by calendar date or by county and illustrates the richness and diversity of the activities offered from readings and a themed tour on the Irish Revolution (1913-23) at Dublin Castle, to medieaval martial arts demonstrations at Trim Castle in Co.Meath, from a family heritage quiz at the Castlecomer library in Kilkenny to an exhibition of traditional skills like spinning, rushwork and bread-making in Co. Mayo. At the Famine Shrine in Callan, Co.Kilkenny the tragic days of the famine will be revisited in the From Famine to Feast lectures to be followed by snacks from the soup kitchen, dancing, songs, storytelling and suckling pig. Natural heritage will be highlighted with woodland walks and visits to nature sanctuaries all over Ireland, as well as dolphin and whale-watching in Co.Clare. The Emerald Isles rich musical traditions are also amply represented with performances and recitals from Donegal to Cork and all stops between.

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