Wood carver David Gorey explores traditional skills for Heritage Week

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Wood carver David Gorey explores traditional skills for Heritage Week

The traditional skill of woodcarving and the story of the four wooden statues, which date to the late 1500’s in Fethard, Co. Tipperary is the subject matter of a heritage project undertaken by David Gorey to mark National Heritage Week 2020, which took place from Saturday, August 15 – Sunday 23.

As part of the week, David Gorey shared the project, which explores the discovery of the Trinity Statues in Fethard which had been buried in Fethard when Cromwell came to town!

Speaking about the project, David Gorey, local wood carver said: “I was excited to sculpt replicas of the wooden statues that were discovered buried in Fethard about 250 years ago. These statues have a great history and are currently on display in the National Museum in Dublin. It is believed that the Trinity statues were carved locally due to some of the facial features. When I was a child, I remember the Lady of Fethard statue was only brought out and displayed during Easter week ceremonies. The annual Heritage Week programme is a great opportunity to learn more about your local heritage and make connections with new people and stories.”

Coordinated by the Heritage Council since 2005, National Heritage Week has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events.
To take account of restrictions on gatherings due to Covid-19, rather than focusing on the organisation of events this year, local heritage groups, families and communities were invited to develop projects around this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’.

Completed projects are available on HeritageWeek.ie where they can be explored by location and theme. All completed projects will also be considered for a National Heritage Week Award.

Commenting on National Heritage Week 2020, the Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons said: “This year, perhaps more than any other year, National Heritage Week offers a moment for community engagement and social cohesion. Heritage – in all its forms – helps us to connect with our past, build resilience and enhance our health and wellbeing. The Heritage Council is ensuring that Heritage Week goes ahead and we have modified our approach to ensure active engagement with our heritage, while protecting public health.”

CEO of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan added: “During lockdown, many people around the country – in both rural and urban environments – have developed a greater appreciation for their immediate surroundings. The restrictions have caused us to reconnect with, and reconsider what can be found in our immediate locality, from noticing birds and birdsong, and changing patterns among plants and wildlife as spring became summer, to local built heritage and monuments. Others have returned to traditional skills, be that baking, growing fruit and vegetables or handcrafts, like knitting and embroidery.

“National Heritage Week, and particular this year’s theme of ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’ offers a chance to build on this renewed interest, by exchanging skills and knowledge in a community; exploring something new or diving deeper into the story behind something you may have recently discovered.”

For a full details of all projects developed as part National Heritage Week, visit heritageweek.ie.

About National Heritage Week

National Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council as part of European Heritage Days – a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which more than 40 countries participate each year. 

The main aim of European Heritage Days is to promote awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage and to promote Europe’s common cultural heritage. National Heritage Week is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and run in association with Fáilte Ireland.

At the county level, National Heritage Week is co-ordinated and supported by local authority heritage officers, their colleagues and with numerous local heritage groups and organisations. Collaborative partners include the Office of Public Works; the Local Authority Water Programme; the Irish Landmark Trust; and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. Supporting partners include RTÉ Supporting the Arts and The Irish Times.