Opening Our Hearths to Clare’s Heritage

Clare Champion, Friday, August 17, 2007

Clare Heritage Office in conjunction with the Clare Museum is set to present a series of public lectures on some of the many Clare Heritage Plan projects undertaken in 2007. The Open Hearth initiative is part of Clare Heritage Week running from August 27th to 31st.

“In a nod to other times when the open hearth or fireplace was the predominant location for the telling of history, this series is an attempt to further engage the general public in matters of heritage and culture,” explained Tomas Mac Conmara, acting heritage officer with Clare County Council.

“It is imperative that the Clare Heritage Office provides the public with an insight into the projects undertaken by the office and to take the opportunity to illustrate the benefit of each. A considerable amount of actions have been progressed in 2007 in many areas of our heritage and with the Open Hearth Series, attendees will have the opportunity to have a glimpse into the level of effort put into each project,” he said.

John Rattigan, curator of Clare Museum said, “Clare Museum began the lunchtime lecture series during Heritage Week 2002. In 2006, we agreed to host speakers fulfilling projects and initiatives outlined in the heritage plan. This year, in a further development of the concept, Clare Heritage Office and Clare Museum have moved the programme to evening time to attract greater numbers of people to the lectures.”

On Tuesday, August 28, John Murphy and Elaine Keegan, Clare biodiversity officer and database manager respectively, will present a biodiversity awareness evening. Their talks will provide an update on the many biodiversity projects undertaken throughout the year, including the first ever hedgehog survey and the first leisler bat survey.

On Wednesday, Padraig and Donal be Barra from Kilkee and Miltown Malbay will speak about the placenames surveys that they are conducting in their respective areas, under the direction of the Clare Heritage Office and Clare Placenames Committee.

Claire Halpin will present a talk on the Clare coastal architecture survey on Thursday. On the same evening, Minogue Associates will present an illustrated talk on the first countrywide antique farm machinery audit in Europe.

Clare County Manager, Alec Fleming, said, “The Open Hearth series provides the Clare Heritage Office with an opportunity to promote some of the valuable work undertaken in 2007 and to present the findings of various surveys and projects.”

Niamh Barrett, the Heritage Council’s National Heritage Week Co-ordinator, explained that “In terms of highlighting the importance of our built, natural and cultural heritage, National Heritage Week is extremely important in encouraging groups across the county and country to celebrate in an overt fashion what area of heritage they feel is important and to present that to the broader community,”

Meanwhile, over 50 events are scheduled to take place around County Clare during Heritage Week 2007. Clare County Council has confirmed that the events will include a range of talks, field trips and exhibitions aimed at encouraging people to take an interest in their local heritage.

Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union. Locally the event is co-ordinated by the Clare County Council and the Heritage Council with support from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government .

Further information and an events listing for Clare are available on

The Open Hearth Series

Monday, August 27, 1-2pm
Boots are made for Walking-Walking Routes in Clare by Cyril Killeen, Clare Walking Routes Officer

A Monumental Matter, Clare Field Monuments by Michael Lynch, Clare Field Monument Adviser

Tuesday, August 28, 7.30-9pm
Grainneog ‘Ugly Little Thing’ – Clare Hedgehog Survey by John Murphy, Clare Biodiversity Officer.

Bat Survey Begins – The Clare Leisler’s Bat Survey 2007 by Elaine Keegan, Database Manager.

Wednesday, August 29, 7.30-9pm
Name Your Place – The placenames of Kilkee and Miltown Malbay by Padraig De Barra and Donal De Barra.

Thursday, August 30, 7.30-9pm
At the bottom of the field – The Clare Machinery Audit 2007 by Minogue Associates.

A Coastal View – Clare Coastal Architecture Survey 2007 by Sarah J Halpin of Clare Heritage Office.

Friday, 31st August, 1.15-1.45pm
The diversity in the Bio - Clare’s Biodiversity by John Murphy, Clare Biodiversity Officer.

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