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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
John Allen Ronan O'Gara and Monica MacLaverty of Tourism Ireland during filming for the new campaign at Charles Fort in Kinsale.

Tourism Ireland announce Ronan O'Gara as the face of Cork in France

The Corkman will advertise Cork to the French in hopes holidaymakers visit the county during the off-season.

RUGBY STAR RONAN O’Gara will front a new campaign for Tourism Ireland to promote trips to county Cork in France, during the autumn this year ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The Corkman, who moved to Bishopstown when he was six months old, will feature in a new campaign that will advertise Cork to French nationals in hopes that holidaymakers will fly or sail directly to the county during the off-season months.

The tourism board say O’Gara, who is the head coach of French rugby team La Rochelle, is a “popular and respected figure in France”, which it hopes can help with their new campaign.

O’Gara played rugby for Ireland, winning his first international cap in 1999, and competed in sixteen seasons with Munster Rugby until he retired in May of 2013 with a total of 128 caps for the boys in green and 240 provincial appearances.

Since his retirement, the San-Diego born Leesider has started an extensive coaching career in France, with a year as an assistant coach with New Zealand’s Crusaders.

Tourism Ireland’s Southern Europe Manager Monica MacLaverty said that it’s a “great opportunity to capitalise on the excitement in the run-up to, and during, the Rugby World Cup”.

“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,” MacLeverty said.

A video featuring O’Gara visiting various locations in Kinsale and Cork city will be a part of the campaign as well as a showcase of “great things to see and do on a holiday” in the locations.

A separate video of the rugby coach giving his La Rochelle side a pep-talk, was shared among many in the rugby world as, while he has spent almost a decade in and out of France, O’Gara still hasn’t let the Cork accent fade – even when speaking French.

The campaign will run on Tourism Ireland’s social channels in France from early September.

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