What's in a name? That which we now call ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’, announced today at Meitheal | Kilkenny Tourism

What's in a name? That which we now call ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’, announced today at Meitheal

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What's in a name? That which we now call ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’, announced today at Meitheal

Kilkenny is delighted to be part of the of the new tourism region named ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’. The announcement has come at a perfect time for Kilkenny as it hosts Ireland’s only Medieval Week, running from April 17th – 26th next.

‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ is a new tourism initiative by Failte Ireland for the south and east as a follow-up to the Wild Atlantic Way. The new touring region’s name ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ was launched by Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State, Michael Ring, at Meitheal, Ireland’s largest travel trade workshop in the RDS, Dublin today.

Chairperson of Kilkenny Tourism, Colin Ahern is delighted with the announcement, he says “We welcome this announcement and always had positive hopes that Kilkenny would be included in the new east and south tourism experience. This puts Kilkenny firmly on the map as the Medieval capital of Ireland especially with new development of the Medieval Mile and host of Ireland’s only Medieval Week. The news couldn’t have come at a better time for us, now we can celebrate in medieval style during Medieval Week!”

According to research carried out by Fáilte Ireland, “Ireland's Ancient East” could increase visitor revenue to €950m by 2020. The cultural and heritage trail will stretch from the Boyne Valley in the northeast, through the midlands, Kilkenny, Waterford and end in Co Cork.

Fáilte Ireland added “Ireland's Ancient East” is a community project and its encouraging people and businesses in areas near the selected tourism zones to get involved. Themed along four pillars; Ancient Ireland, Early Christian Ireland, Medieval Ireland which includes Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile, and Anglo Ireland.

The initiative is designed to offer visitors a "relaxing journey of discovery" crammed with 5,000 years of Irish history that visitors can enter at any point and explore at their leisure.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said the trail would match the Wild Atlantic Way "With the great amount of history and heritage in such a relatively compact area, Ireland's Ancient East will allow us to seriously build on the assets we have in the east and south - and the significant investment which has been made in tourism attractions in the region over the last few years," he said.

"While appealing to a different type of a visitor, I am confident that Ireland's Ancient East will prove as effective and popular as the Wild Atlantic Way and will deliver significant additional numbers of visitors, revenue and jobs to the region".

In the meantime, visitors to Kilkenny this week (17th to 26th April) can enjoy the medieval experience first-hand as they are invited to step back in time and celebrate the cities unique and rich history during ‘Ireland’s Medieval Week – Kilkenny’.

The city will be rolling back the centuries and inviting visitors to join in many epic events including royal feasts, medieval ghost tours, tales of knights and witches, children’s workshops, historic talks and tours.

Ireland’s Medieval Week – Kilkenny 2015, coordinated by Kilkenny Tourism, is the only one of its kind in Ireland and coincides with the development of Ireland’s Medieval Mile, stretching from Kilkenny Castle to St. Canice’s Cathedral.

Colin Ahern, Chairman of Kilkenny Tourism said: “For Ireland’s Medieval Week – Kilkenny 2015 we have hand-picked locations across Kilkenny city and county that are brimming with medieval history. The celebrations will involve fun, merriment and engaging historical discussion and will showcase Kilkenny’s vibrant and colourful medieval history.”

Kilkenny is well represented in this Ireland's Ancient East video with Eugene Downes, Director of Kilkenny Arts Festival and Mark McGovern of the Smithwick's Experience Kilkenny

For more information on Medieval Week events, tours and special offers, please visit www.visitkilkenny.ie