‘Know Your 5K’ to discover the heritage that surrounds us all

A new initiative from the Heritage Council and National Museum of Ireland invites you to share your discoveries and insights about the hidden heritage of your locality.

Due to Covid 19 we have all become much more familiar with our immediate locality. This can help us to see things in a new light by noticing what we may have overlooked before.

‘Know Your 5K’ is a new initiative from the Heritage Council and National Museum of Ireland, which provides an opportunity to share discoveries about our hidden heritage. The project helps the public to use a wealth of online resources to find out more about the story of their locality.

Heritage is a very broad term. It includes archaeology and architecture like ancient monuments, old graveyards or historic buildings. It can be old documents, photographs or letters of historic value. It includes natural heritage like flora and fauna, rivers, lakes or mountains. It also includes local names for fields, music and songs, poems and storytelling, crafts and traditions, sports and leisure.

Virginia Teehan, CEO of the Heritage Council stated that: “This crisis affects us all, our families, our friends and our colleagues, we have all felt anxiety or fear yet amidst all this people are seeing their immediate area with new eyes. In ‘KnowYour2k’ we are looking for any aspect of heritage that interests you, and that is associated with where you are. Tell us about your local historic graveyard, or the history of an old limekiln in your locality. You might have photographs or letters from long ago about a time or place, or you might know a folk tale behind a particular bridge or fairy tree. Was the old dilapidated ballroom once the scene of romance? Was a field once the venue for hurling or football matches against the local rivals? Do the ruins of an old cottage at the end of the lane have a story to tell?’

Lorna Elms, National Museum of Ireland stated that the project can also be enjoyed by those cocooning in their home:

‘Evidence of our history and heritage can be found inside our homes and businesses, as well as outside in our local environment. The KnowYour2K project is encouraging people to look around their homes and identify heritage items or architectural features. In attics, cupboards and drawers across the country, there may be forgotten letters, photographs, medals, newspaper clippings and other artefacts and memorabilia that could help to document many aspects of Irish history.’ 

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan welcomed the new collaboration:

Our heritage reminds us of our long history and great resilience, which is so important right now. This very practical and local initiative will brighten up many people’s days around Ireland over the coming crucial weeks. So many of our heritage, cultural and arts organisations are playing an invaluable role lifting our spirits and I want to thank both The Heritage Council and National Museum.”

Know Your 5k is part of the Heritage Council’s Adopt a Monument Scheme community heritage project, managed by Abarta Heritage. This project is a collaboration between the Heritage Council and the National Museum of Ireland.

You can find more information about KnowYour5k on the OurIrishHeritage.org.


Our Irish Heritage is the home of the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN), a National Museum of Ireland project that is dedicated to improving access to Irish history and heritage by helping communities share their local collections online. On the website you can find a how-to section to help you to research your locality, you can browse other people’s submissions to see what they have in their area or you can submit your own through an easy to use form.

The hope is that the KnowYour5k project will help people to discover the heritage that surrounds us all!

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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