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State recognition for three Clare cultural traditions

23 July 2019

Three examples of living cultural heritage practices in County Clare have been given official State recognition.

Winterage in the Burren, practices at Clare’s Holy Wells and traditional sea currach making were given official recognition by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD this week at the launch the permanent National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The development of the National Inventory of Ireland’s Intangible Cultural Heritage is an integral part of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s work under the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which requires signatory States to recognise, protect and promote the living cultural heritage of their countries.

Ireland has succeeded in having uilleann piping and hurling inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and a formal application from Ireland to have harping inscribed on the UNESCO list will be considered at the end of  this year.

Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer for Clare County Council, commented, “Clare has a rich cultural heritage which is preserved thanks to the work of committed volunteers all around the county, whose involvement in their communities’ cultural practices and heritage traditions have sustained them over the generations.  Clare County Council is delighted to see that three Clare customs, practices and traditions have been given official State recognition on the National Inventory.”

Commenting on the Winterage in the Burren, Dr. Brendan Dunford, Manager of the Burren Programme, said, “This is a welcome acknowledgement of the importance of the farming community and their traditions in a landscape renowned for its geology, archaeology and ecology. It’s a lovely way to honour the past generations of farmers who devised these innovative practices in response to the constraints imposed by the Burren’s rocky terrain, while it’s also an encouraging message to current and future generations of farmers that we, as a society, value and appreciate them and their unique traditions which sustain this magnificent landscape.”

The elements of Ireland’s cultural heritage practices included in Ireland’s National Inventory were received through an open call process and were assessed by an expert advisory committee. To ensure a comprehensive National Inventory is achieved, expressions of interest will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis: Interested parties can contact the Department at nationalich@chg.gov.ie for more information.

Page last updated: 23/07/19

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