Model Yvonne Keating was last week announced as the new Kildare Failte ambassador to promote tourism in the Lilywhite county.
The Straffan woman, the former wife of Boyzone star Ronan, attended a tourism event with fellow ambassador Gay Byrne at the K Club last Thursday.
“This is still home and always will be,” Yvonne told the Leinster Leader. “My family are in Naas, Straffan and Clane. My children love coming here.”
Yvonne’s mum Ann Connolly runs the Granny’s Attic antiques shop in Naas.
The model-turned-broadcaster’s own memories of growing up in Kildare centre around her love of horses, a fondness she has passed on to her own daughter. “It was showjumping and hunting all around the county, out with the Kildare hunt and at gymkhanas from Eadestown to Punchestown. I saw every part of Kildare as a child. Every town and village had a pony club and my father drove me to every single one of them.”
The Masterchef contestant, who was dressed for the launch in a outfit by Kalu, with make-up by Marrons in Clane and hair by Mandika’s Icon, said that promoting Kildare will be “a pretty easy job to do”.
“There’s nothing I need to make up, it’s all there. It’s on a lot of people’s doorsteps and they’re not aware of how much there is to do in Kildare, the amazing hotels we have, the amazing retail shops and the cultural and heritage experiences.”
The 2014 Kildare Tourism Action plan was also launched at the event. One of its major projects for next year is the establishment of an Arthur Guinness heritage trail in North Kildare.