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Ireland's Heritage Hero spent 10 years selling lottery tickets to raise funds

Matt Farrell from Co Longford was named Ireland’s Heritage Hero at an awards ceremony this week.

MATTHEW FARRELL, FROM Edgeworthstown, Co Longford has been given the prestigious title of Ireland’s Heritage Hero for the work he’s done to preserve and promote his local area.

Minister Heather Humphreys announces Matt Farrell from Co. Longford as Ireland?s Heritage Hero. Pictured at the Heritage Council?s Heritage Awards Ceremony in Dublin were Ireland?s Heritage Hero Matt Farrell and his grandson Jamie Penrose, aged 10. Ireland’s Heritage Hero Matt Farrell and his grandson Jamie Penrose, aged 10. Gary O' Neill Gary O' Neill

Among Farrell’s achievements, are the establishment of Edgeworthstown District Development Association and the Edgeworth Society; the development of the Edgeworth Heritage project and Edgeworth Heritage and Literary trail which brings visitors through Edgeworthstown House and its walled garden.

This took years of gathering of research and the conservation and preservation of the graveyard, the rectory, the schoolhouse and the fair green, as well as 10 years of fundraising, “selling lottery tickets every Saturday night”.

Matt Farrell’s dedication shows the important link between people and place, and how an appreciation of our shared heritage can build a community.

There are plenty of other winners working hard to preserve and protect their heritage. Here’s the winners list:

Heritage Hero Award

  • Winner: Matthew Farrell, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford
  • Runners-up: Leslie Crawford, Monaghan Town, Co Monaghan; Alan Martin, Dublin Dockworkers Society, Dublin; Dr Mark Clinton, Archaeologist, Co Dublin.

Hidden Heritage Award

  • Winner: The Bucks & the Thrashers by The LEAP Project in Easkey Co Sligo
  • Runners-up: Dungarvan Shopfront Heritage Trail in Co Waterford; Queer Republic of Cork by Cork LGBT Archive.

Reaching Out Award

  • Winner: The War before the Great War by The Irish Workhouse Centre in Portuma, Co Galway
  • Runners-up: John Saul Horticulturalist from Castlemartyr to the White House by The Castlemartyr John Saul Appreciation Society in Co Cork; Tunnel Vision: Going Underground by Casino Marino OPW.

Cool for Kids Award

  • Winner: Footsteps in the Forest by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership in Co Armagh
  • Runners-up: Discovering Biodiversity in a Community Garden by Global Action Plan Ireland in Ballymun, Dublin 11; Stick Sunday by Down to Earth Forest School in Knocknacarra, Co Galway.

Pictures: New online archive gives public access to Dublin’s visual history

Next in line: Children’s self-portraits take professionals’ place in Merrion Square

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