Betty features in ‘treasure’ book

Betty Shaw with her 'Widow's Weeds'.
Betty Shaw with her 'Widow's Weeds'.

Betty Shaw from Ballymena is one of the featured contributors in the brand new National Treasures Book.

It is the latest instalment of the National Treasures project that captured the nation’s imagination when it aired on RTE1 earlier this year.

Betty who brought along her Widow’s Weeds to a National Treasures Roadshow in Belfast is one of a select few individuals to be featured in the publication.

Her object reveals the historic customs and traditions surrounding death.

The ‘Widow’s Weed’ which Betty brought along to the roadshow was a common form of funeral attire for mourners in the Victorian era.

The National Treasures project was a campaign to collect objects cherished by people and families that explore the history of the island of Ireland over the past 100 years.

The aim was to gather objects, passed down through generations or relatively recently acquired, which revealed an aspect of Ireland’s history, culture and experience.

Since then, the project has transformed from a website to nationwide roadshow events, a television series, an exhibition and now a book containing some of the amazing objects and stories uncovered.

Authors and producers of the National Treasures project, Ciarán Deeney and David Clarke said: “It’s been a real treat to spend the past year meeting the people of Ireland and discovering so many amazing objects and the stories behind them.

“We’re forever grateful to all the people that participated and we feel that this book illustrates perfectly how the National Treasures project was a powerful insight into the fabric of a nation”

The book, which has a foreword written by RTÉ’s John Creedon, reveals a selection of 200 diverse and fascinating objects that were unearthed by the project and presents them alongside the owners and the personal stories attached.

It is available in all good book shops and also online at