2018 has been designated as the European Year of Cultural Heritage by the European Commission. The initiative is designed to be truly European, with activities taking place at all levels: European, national, regional and local. The Year aims to involve all citizens in events that help to promote a sense of belonging to a common European space.

Heritage is our cultural identity, values and traditions that we have inherited from previous generations, live with today, and pass on to future generations. It includes buildings, monuments, historical and archaeological sites, museum objects, our customs, sports, language, music, dance, folklore, crafts and skills, and natural heritage, such as landscapes, wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

In Ireland, the Heritage Council – the statutory body charged with promoting, educating and encouraging enjoyment in Ireland’s national heritage – is coordinating the European Year of Cultural Heritage. It will coordinate and promote a national programme of European Year of Cultural Heritage events and other activities.

The theme for the Year in Ireland is ‘Make a Connection’. This theme aims to deepen the connection between people and heritage, and build a legacy of increased public engagement. To achieve this objective, the Heritage Council is inviting organisations and individuals to take action and respond to the theme.

The overall themes and objectives as set out by the EU are available to read here

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