Belfast Telegraph

Down and Fermanagh along with Northern Ireland produce star in US TV special

Images of counties Down and Fermanagh — and some of Northern Ireland’s finest produce — will be beamed into the homes of more than two million Americans this St Patrick’s Day.

NBC Television has been filming here for a series of reports to air during live coverage of the annual New York parade.

In Fermanagh, the crew visited Lough Erne Resort, where they filmed chef Noel McMeel in action in the hotel’s kitchen. Noel also brought the producers on a tour of the area, to meet some of his favourite local food producers — including butcher Pat Doherty and beef and lamb farmer Maurice Kettyle, as well as Erin Groves, who sources local ingredients for her jams and chutneys.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “People everywhere instantly identify St Patrick’s Day with the island of Ireland and that heightened profile at this time of year allows us to put our holiday experience in the spotlight in the United States.

“Tourism Ireland is taking every opportunity to highlight and celebrate our food and drink scene throughout 2016, promoting our food in the US and elsewhere around the world.

“We are inviting everyone to come and enjoy 366 days of celebration — where they can discover the best of local produce and have the chance to experience the wonderful landscapes and coastline which make Northern Ireland so special.”

As well as showcasing food and drink, the broadcast will also focus on the themes of Christian heritage, the St Patrick’s Trail and Game of Thrones.

Tourism Ireland will undertake a busy programme of consumer and trade promotions in North America around St Patrick’s Day. For the first time ever, 7 World Trade Center at Ground Zero in New York, the Boston Red Sox stadium and Reunion Hall in Dallas will be lit up in green for the ‘Global Greening’ initiative on March 17. Other major sites going green include the Empire State Building, the famous ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas and Toronto City Hall.

Belfast Telegraph Digital