The Irish public has voted Luke Kelly as the person who best represents Irish heritage, according to a new study ahead of National Heritage Week. 

The study, conducted by the National Lottery in partnership with the Heritage Council, also found that traditional music is the activity most associated with Irish heritage. 

A total of 23% of respondents voted Kelly as the person who best represents Irish heritage, with Christy Moore in second place with 21% of the vote. 

Meanwhile, 59% of respondents believe that it is important to keep heritage alive by passing down skills from generation to generation, while 97% of people believe that it is imperative to keep old traditions alive. 

A third (33%) of all respondents believe that traditional Irish music is the activity most associated with Irish heritage, with GAA in second with 20% of the vote. 

The study found that an Irish stew is the Irish public's favorite traditional meal, receiving 28% of the vote. Bacon and cabbage (19%) and a full Irish breakfast (15%) made up the top three. 

The study was launched ahead of Heritage Week, which began on Saturday, August 12 and will run until Sunday, August 20. 

More than 1,200 free events and projects will take place in galleries, gardens, historic houses, barnyards, and studios across the country during the week.

Virginia Teehan, CEO of the Heritage Council, encouraged people to see what events are taking place in their area during Heritage Week. 

Jennifer Crowe, Head of Corporate Affairs at the National Lottery, said the National Lottery was excited to partner with the Heritage Council for Heritage Week. 

"Heritage Week is a great opportunity for us to explore our traditions, skills and culture, to tell stories, and pass traditions from generation to generation and we’re really excited to be supporting this year’s event," Crowe said in a statement.