IRISH rugby legend Ronan O’Gara has been signed up to lead a marketing campaign promoting Cork as a tourist destination to the people of France.
The former rugby union player, who played as a fly-half and is Ireland's second most-capped player and highest points scorer, is currently based in France where he is head coach of its La Rochelle rugby team.
But from this September he will also be the face of a new Tourism Ireland (TI) campaign which is being released to coincide with the Rugby World Cup.
The campaign will include a new video featuring O’Gara, who was born in San Diego but grew up in Cork, visiting various locations in Kinsale and Cork city that ‘fill his heart with Ireland’.
“As well as showcasing some of the many great things to see and do on a holiday in Kinsale and Cork, the aim of the campaign is to encourage French holidaymakers to fly or sail direct to Cork during the off-season months” TI explains.
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Southern Europe, said: “We are delighted to partner with Ronan O'Gara for our upcoming campaign in France.
“It’s a great opportunity to capitalise on the excitement in the run-up to, and during, the Rugby World Cup.”
She added: “Our aim is to highlight the many great experiences and attractions in Cork city and county, as well as the ease of access from France to Cork and the warm welcome that awaits our French visitors.”
Filming for the campaign took place at various locations, including Charles Fort and The Bulman in Kinsale, as well as in Cork city at The English Market, The Farmgate Café, Crawford Art Gallery, Patrick Street and Market Lane.
The crew also captured footage of musicians from the Cork Jazz Festival and of an oyster experience in Goldie.
The campaign will run on Tourism Ireland’s social channels in France from early September.