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08 Aug 2014

Spotlight on Ireland in France

President Higgins visits Tourism Ireland pavilion at the Festival Interceltique in the Breton city of Lorient

President Michael De Higgins and his wife Sabina visited the Tourism Ireland pavilion at the recent Festival Interceltique, which took place over ten days in the city of Lorient in Brittany.

President Higgins was the guest of honour at this year’s Festival Interceltique and its “Year of Ireland”. Now in its 44th year, the festival takes place in the heart of the city of Lorient every August, with about 200 different events and shows featuring traditional Celtic music, singing and dancing. With a huge audience of about 700,000 people coming together to celebrate Celtic music and culture, it is the ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland in France to highlight the island of Ireland as a wonderful choice for a holiday or short break.

Tourism Ireland had a busy pavilion in the festival village – distributing information about holidays to Ireland and featuring Irish music, dance and food. Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe, said: “With a huge audience of some 700,000 people coming together to celebrate Celtic music and culture, the Interceltique Festival is an ideal platform for Tourism Ireland to highlight the island of Ireland as a wonderful destination for a holiday or short break. Together with our tourism partners from Ireland, we are extending an invitation to French people with Irish connections, or those with an affinity for Ireland, to come and visit.”

Also in attendance at the Festival Interceltique was mayor of Galway, Councillor Donal Lyons; Galway has been twinned with Lorient since 1975.


Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2013, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of almost €4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.