Bring out your Limerick Lace for Heritage Week

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Experts will be on hand to identify whether lace items presented on the day are authentic pieces of Limerick Lace - as seen above in this picture of a lace worker in 1936. Courtesy Veronica Rowe
LIMERICK Museum and Archives is preparing to host a public event as part of National Heritage Week that will help people discover if they own “a precious piece of history and heritage”.

LIMERICK Museum and Archives is preparing to host a public event as part of National Heritage Week that will help people discover if they own “a precious piece of history and heritage”.

The Bring Out Your Lace event will take place in City Hall, with experts on hand to identify whether items presented on the day are authentic pieces of Limerick Lace.

The event is one of many taking place in Limerick as part of National Heritage Week 2015, which centres around a theme of “raising the awareness of the value of industrial and design heritage” and runs from August 22-30.

Limerick Lace has long been held as among the great Irish craft industries that employed an estimated 1,800 people at its peak in the early 1850s.

It produced a large output of products, from dresses, christening shawls and ecclesiastical robes to handkerchiefs and doilies.

Nora Finnegan, Limerick Lace expert and founder of the Kenmare Lace class, and textile conservator Cliodna Devitt, will be on hand to provide expert advice and information to members of the public at the Tuesday, August 25 event.

“Limerick Museum and Archives aims to document where lace is held and to help the owners of lace to care for it,” explained Jacqui Hayes, Limerick archivist.

“We hope that each piece of lace will be professionally photographed and the owner will also get some advice on the type of lace and some tips on how to care for it.

“For those who simply are interested in lace but don’t own any pieces, they are still welcome to visit our open day where they will find lots to interest to them. There will be lace making demonstrations and lace experts available to talk about lace. Our ‘Amazing Lace’ (exhibition) also remains open at Limerick Museum in City Hall,” she added.

A series of - mostly free - events will take place as part of heritage week, with Limerick City and County Council “working with local communities and the Heritage Council to promote and raise awareness of Limerick’s diverse and unique heritage”, it said.

As such, diverse events have been organised in the areas of archaeology, artefacts, folklore, music, genealogy, historic buildings and gardens, local and military history, circus crafts, and traditional skills such as basket weaving.

Events will take place in the city and throughout the county in Kilfinane, Rathkeale, Kilmallock, Newcastle West, Bruff, Pallasgreen, Adare and Abbeyfeale.

Highlights include a Genealogy Event, guided tours of Desmond Castle and a Tait Clothing Factory seminar.

The Hunt Museum, the Office of Public Works, Limerick Museum and Archives, the archaeological service and other members of the private sector are all involved in running events.

For full details, see www.limerick.ie/heritage-week or www.heritagecouncil.ie.