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20 Mar 2018

‘Knives out’ for Northern Ireland tourism

100,000+ New Zealanders will see Northern Ireland in online TV show

More than 100,000 Kiwis will see the spectacular landscape of Northern Ireland in a popular online TV programme this summer. A TV crew from New Zealand is visiting this week, to follow and film the New Zealand national butchery team, known as the ‘Sharp Blacks’.

The team is here to compete in the World Butchers’ Challenge, taking place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast for the first time ever, but as well as taking part in the competition, these highly skilled butchers are also checking out some of Northern Ireland’s artisan food producers, meat and livestock industry and some of our top tourist attractions – with the TV crew there to capture all the action.

With assistance from Tourism Ireland in New Zealand and Tourism NI, filming has been taking place in Enniskillen, where the team enjoyed a Lough Erne food tour and visits to various food producers and restaurants in Fermanagh. They also met with Pat O’Doherty at his butchery business in Enniskillen and visited his herd of rare breed black pigs on Inishcorkish Island.

The team also enjoyed a Game of Thrones tour along the Causeway Coastal route, stopping at Ballygally Castle Hotel, Ballintoy and the Dark Hedges at Stranocum, before visiting the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Distillery. The scenes filmed in Northern Ireland will air to an estimated 100,000 viewers on TVNZ OnDemand during a seven-part series called Knives Out – The Road to the World Butcher’s Cup, scheduled for June.

Darragh Walshe, Tourism Ireland New Zealand, said: “We are delighted to facilitate the making of this TV programme, which will help showcase Northern Ireland to a large audience of potential holidaymakers here in New Zealand. Visits like this are an invaluable part of our overall promotional programme; they are a really effective way for us to raise awareness through the media in New Zealand of the many things to see and do on a holiday in Northern Ireland.”
  The New Zealand ‘Sharp Blacks’ team at the Old Bushmills Distillery, with Niall Mehaffey, Old Bushmills Distillery (front, centre); and two of the Team Ireland butchery team, Colly Donnelly (front, left) and Eamon Etherson (front, right).

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 61,300 jobs.
  • In 2017, we welcomed approximately 2.26 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £586 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.