Heritage Seminar a First for Clare

Clare People, Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

A new landmark was created for antiquity and heritage in the county recently. The award winning Clare Heritage Circle held its first ever national seminar, which had an international dimension, attached to it.

‘Seiminéár Oidhreachta’ which was staged at the Old Ground Hotel covered a wide variety of heritage related Issues. Over 120 people attended he event and among those was a delegation from Greece.

Dr. Hugh Maguire from the National Heritage Council officially opened the proceedings before Carol Gleeson provided a talk on the role that museums and heritage centres could play in the promotion of heritage and culture.

This was followed by a talk entitled ‘What comes first, Heritage or Tourism?’ Here, Katherine Webster from the Cliffs of Moher New Visitor Experience gave an insightful talk into the possible dangers and also the benefits of variant approaches to the management of tourism.

The second half of the seminar saw Donal De Barra from Oidhreacht an Chláir provide a talk on the importance of Irish Music and Irish Heritage and this was followed by the final speaker, Daithí Mac Cárthaigh, Uachtarán, Conradh na Gaeilge, who’s talk was entitled Irish Language/Irish Heritage.

The seminar concluded with an open forum, where attendees were given the opportunity to voice their opinions or ask questions of the speakers. This part of Seiminéár Oidhreachta saw an energetic and intriguing debate on different areas of heritage with people expressing their opinions in both Irish and English.

According to Tomás Mac Conmara, Cathaoirleach of the Clare Heritage Circle, “the seminar provided an excellent opportunity to bring together heritage operator and enthusiasts, to discuss areas of concern and more importantly, to establish how we can co-ordinate our efforts to more effectively preserve and promote the heritage of County Clare”.

Due to the success of this years event, the Clare Heritage Circle intends developing and running Seiminéar Oidhreachta again in 2007 and has also outlined a number of objectives it aims to accomplish in the interim.

The Clare Heritage Circle formed in 2003 under ‘Objective 11’ of the County Clare Heritage Plan 2003-2007 and was the initiative of the Clare Heritage Officer, Congella McGuire and Clare Museum. It was established with the intention of co-ordinating the efforts of individual heritage operators in County Clare.

Since 2003, the group has been involved in many initiatives, which aim to advance the preservation and promotion of heritage.

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