Images of Castlecomer and County Kilkenny will be beamed into the homes of over two million Americans this St Patrick’s Day.
Footage was captured last week around Castlecomer and Moneenroe, and elsewhere in Ireland, for a series of short film clips that will air on the NBC TV network during its live coverage of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade, which is sponsored by Tourism Ireland.
During their time here, the NBC crew visited the Castlecomer Discovery Park, where they interviewed genealogist Helen Kelly. Helen discussed the ancestors of Frank Comerford, this year’s grand marshal of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade who left this part of Ireland in the mid-19th century. The crew also spent time filming scenes in Moneenroe with local historian Máire Downey, who discussed the history of the famine and emigration.
Targeting the Irish diaspora is a key focus for Tourism Ireland and promotions in the US this year are expected to reach over six million Americans of Irish descent in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles through radio, print and online advertising. In the second half of this year, Tourism Ireland will promote The Gathering Ireland 2013 to the estimated 70 million people across the world who feel linked by family, friends or otherwise with Ireland.
“People everywhere instantly identify St Patrick’s Day with the island of Ireland and that heightened profile allows us to put the Ireland holiday experience in the spotlight here in North America,” said Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice president for the US and Canada.