HEADFORD lace has been admitted to the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Establishing and maintaining this national inventory is one of Ireland’s obligations under the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. It protects, promotes and celebrates the practices, customs, craftsmanship and tradition of Irish living cultural heritage.
Headford Lace is a style of dish towel bobbin lace historically made in Headford. Historical evidence shows that the town’s lace industry dates back to around 1765, making it one of the oldest Irish laces.
Headford Lace Project (HLP) has worked hard since its founding in 2016 to research, revive and reinvent this special craft through workshops, demonstrations, community collaborations and inspiring events.
So far over 80 apprentices have been trained in Headford’s lace craft and HLP looks forward to welcoming more apprentices and upgrades to Headford soon.
Announcing her inclusion in the inventory, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin, said: “Living cultural heritage practices require knowledge and skills and promote our sense of community and place. These practices thrive thanks to the dedicated communities that support and transmit their skills.
Official state recognition would make these practices and traditions better known.
Galway County Council Heritage Officer Marie Mannion said the acceptance of Headford Lace into the national inventory was the result of all the hard work and dedication of members of the Headford Lace Project.
“It is interesting to note,” she commented, “that Queen Victoria bought £ 20 worth of Headford lace in 1847 and that the only piece of Headford lace that has survived was one from the Castle of Headford circa 1904. But now, thanks to the work of the Headford Lace Project, 80 people have been trained in Headford lace craftsmanship and their work is now recognized as an important aspect of Ireland’s intangible cultural heritage.
HLP President Eilís Nic Dhonncha added: “We are delighted that this beautiful artisan tradition has been recognized for its intrinsic value and that it is preserved alongside other important elements of Irish culture and celebrated for generations. future.