Dee Murphy Cois Nore and star knitters Jackie Tyrrell, Edward Hayden and Evanne Ní Chuilinn PICTURE: VICKY COMERFORD
Kilkenny native and RTÉ sports and news presenter Evanne Ní Chuilinn will host Kilkenny’s first ever virtual St Patrick’s Day celebrations this month.
The city’s traditional weekend of music and parade through the winding history-laden streets will move to the virtual highway instead and will feature concerts, arts events, environmental projects and presentations.
There will be a virtual parade featuring Kilkenny’s citizens and diaspora as well as celebrating the current stars of animation, the Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Cartoon Saloon along with their musical collaborators, Kila, in a vibrant celebration of
the artistic and historic tapestry of Cill Chainnigh.
Festival manager Marian Flannery said that the festival was delighted to be working with Evanne.
“Evanne has been busy every St Patrick’s Day in recent years on RTÉ sports duties so it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good,” she said.
“Evanne has been a consummate professional to deal with in recent weeks but also great fun and her passion for her native Kilkenny shines through.”
Festival chairperson, Cllr Joe Malone said he was delighted to have Ireland’s leading GAA presenter on board.
“Evanne wears her Kilkenny heart on her sleeve and stands out as one of the leading media personalities to come from our city and county,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to her bringing a fresh and bubbly twist to this year’s online proceedings. Needless to mention, Evanne is fluent in both our national languages, meaning she will truly bring our local celebrations to the heart of Seachtain na Gaeilge.”
Evanne said she was honoured to be the face of Lá le Pádraig for Kilkenny in this strangest of national festivals.
“I am delighted to be presenting this wonderful day’s activities. Kilkenny always pulls out the stops on St. Patrick’s Day, but what they have achieved this year is stunning, given the circumstances,” she said.
“I am honoured to be bringing the work of Cartoon Saloon, Kila and so many local artists, musicians and community groups to Kilkenny people, home and abroad and to anybody who tunes in to see what’s happening in the Marble City. Hopefully we’ll attract them back in the future.
“I have also been delighted to re-learn the knitting skills I learned from Múinteoir Siobhán in Gaelscoil Osraí all those years ago and have been having great fun with my fellow Village man Jackie Tyrrell and Graignamanagh chef supreme Edward Hayden in The Big Green Knit. I am a huge supporter of Cois Nore and the wonderful work they do and I hope people support this fun initiative by bidding for the scarves we have knitted and keep knitting and contributing to the cause.
“Tá áthas ar leith orm deis a fháil chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn le linn Seachtain na Gaeilge. Tá an teanga an-tábhachtach dom ó’m laethanta I nGaelscoil Osraí agus táim ag tnúth le réalta mór na teanga cosúil le Kila, Seo Linn agus Nell Ní Chróínín a chur i láthair don domhan mhór.”
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