Oscar-Nominated Director Joins Line-Up of Kilkenny’s New Tourism Ambassadors

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Ambassadors to highlight the very best the county has to offer in a ‘nostalgic’ new campaign.

The next phase of Kilkenny’s #MoretoExplore campaign launches today, with the appointment of new tourism ambassadors for the county. Five new high profile ambassadors from the world of movies, TV, food and social media are set to showcase some of Kilkenny’s best adventure and outdoor holiday experiences for visitors this Summer 2021.

Among the line-up includes Oscar nominated Director, Tomm Moore from Kilkenny based animation company Cartoon Saloon, celebrity chef Edward Hayden; Blogger and influencer Sinèad De Butlèìr; former Miss Ireland and influencer Holly Carpenter and Niamh de Brún.

All the ambassadors have diverse backgrounds, but a deep-rooted history with Kilkenny. Over the next four weeks, each will promote their favourite places to visit from around the county from tourist attractions, towns to heritage sites and family walking trails. The aim is to highlight the very best the county has to offer in a nostalgic #MoretoExplore promotional campaign to encourage visitors to Kilkenny this Summer.

Commenting on what makes Kilkenny so special for them and their favourite places to visit, our Ambassadors look back to childhood memories and recent visits to Kilkenny and recount why the county means so much to them:

Tomm Moore: “I was something of an outsider growing up – my family had moved to Kilkenny from the North of Ireland in the early 80’s and as a comic-obsessed “oddball” in a hurling-mad school – St Kieran’s – I was bound to stand out. Young Irish Filmmakers was thankfully here in Kilkenny and that became the focal point of my teenage artistic life alongside my passion for comics and art.

But Kilkenny itself soon became home and to this day what I love most about it is that it’s a very friendly and artistic area, with beautiful scenery, historic buildings and a cosy intimate community.

One of my favourite places to visit as a young boy and even today, is Kilfane Glen and Waterfall. This place is a hidden treasure and a tranquil escape filled with natural light and beauty with the magnificent sound of never ending water flowing. I’m proud to say it was the inspiration for many locations in Wolfwalkers.

 It’s a great privilege to be asked to be a brand ambassador for Kilkenny Tourism, the place, the people and it’s culture are at the very heart of everything that is great about our county.”

Niamh de Brún: “Kilkenny has several scenic walks throughout the county each with their own character. The Canal walk holds very special memories for me as it is the first place I walked after re-locating to Kilkenny. It is a relatively short walk, approximately 1.7km so can be done quickly and ideal for small children as well.  Along the route, which runs along a wall below Kilkenny Castle, you will enjoy scenic views and appreciate nature. I never tire of visiting the Castle and see something new on every visit”.

Edward Hayden: “During Covid 19 I have reflected on the places I missed and those places that I wished to visit. I was so fortunate to have spent all lockdowns in my native Graignamanagh, when I have rediscovered the splendour of the town-the valley of the monks- over this period. The imposing Duiske Abbey has acted as the physical embodiment of spiritual sanctuary and hope, the beautiful river barrow and the Duiske river have offered tranquillity, the glorious walks have presented opportunities for solace and adventure in equal measure, Brandon Hill which overlooks the town reminds us that we all have hills in life to climb, and the greatest attribute of this haven we call home is the people who have discharged themselves throughout with acceptance, caution and a tenacity to rebuild/reinvigorate our community. To complete the jigsaw, we look forward to the re-opening of businesses and the reawakening of the tourism and hospitality offerings in Graignamanagh.”

captivating destination
Edward Hayden

Sinèad De Butlèìr: “One of my favourite places to go to is Woodstock in the beautiful Inistioge, this brings back really fond memories as we used to visit regularly as a child, as well as this Inistioge has the most beautiful picturesque scenery with beautiful cafes and traditional Irish pubs which totally add to the character of the town.  It was the first place I brought my partner to when he came to Kilkenny on his first visit too”

Holly Carpenter: “Kilkenny is one of my favourite counties in Ireland and I’m thrilled to be one of the Kilkenny Tourism’s new ambassadors. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing romantic getaway, an active outdoorsy trip with friends or a girl’s weekend in the city I think Kilkenny has something for everyone! I’m delighted to be able to share some of my recommendations for anyone lucky enough to be heading to Kilkenny this summer. If you’re looking for a romantic couple’s getaway then look no further than the stunning Mount Juliet. I had the most enchanting experience going for a horse ride through the grounds followed by a delicious afternoon tea experience in their gardens. I also highly recommend Truffle’s restaurant for a delicious meal. The cycling tour is also a favourite of mine with Kilkenny Cycling Tours.”

captivating destination
Holly Carpenter

Commenting on the new Ambassadors, Chairperson of Kilkenny Tourism, Ciaran Conroy said; “As we get set to re-open hospitality and tourism to visitors, Kilkenny Tourism felt it was important that we identified people who have a connection and passion for the county to help us promote it to visitors. We wanted each ambassador to take a ‘look-back’ at a past visit to Kilkenny and share it with people.  Each of our ambassadors reflect the great vibrancy, warmth and variety that Kilkenny has to offer and we look forward to working with them.


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