Legends come to life in 3D in Kildare town

New visitor experience

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Legends come to life in 3D in Kildare town

TCenter Manager om McCutcheon at the launch

’A little piece of magic’ is how best to describe the new Legends of Kildare virtual reality experience at the Kildare town Heritage Centre.

There was a great turn out for the launch of the immersive 3D experience which took place in Studio One in Kildare town yesterday, Monday, October 7. The 20 minute virtual reality experience transports visitors back in time to discover the rich heritage and mythology associated with Kildare including the story of St Brigid, Strongbow and the Viking invasion.

“This is a new journey for us and a big investment for the centre,” said manager Tom McCutcheon.

“This new and exciting experience tells the story of the Fianna, an ancient fire temple, the emergence of one of Ireland’s key monastic sites, medieval mayhem, Viking raids and the arrival of the Normans. It is an emotional journey of highs and lows that takes the visitor through thousands of years of the story of one of Ireland’s oldest towns, Kildare. It is a virtual journey that ignites the feeling of wanting to explore and see more,” he said.

Mayor of Kildare, Suzanne Doyle said she was ‘blown away by the drama, legends, romance and heroism’ of the experience.

“It is a great for our town,” she said.

“It took 18 months for the Heritage Centre to deliver which is a phenomenal achievement to succeed in that timeframe.”

The visitor, via a virtual reality headset and ear phones, is taken on a 3D historical story and journey through the history of Kildare town.

The experience is so life like and immersive that it is like having a front row seat to history as it unfolds.

It is expected to draw an additional 30,000 visitors to Kildare Town Heritage Centre over the next five years, generating up to €1.3m in revenue for the local area.

“It will enhance the visitor experience to Kildare town by transporting you back in time to the story that is Kildare, Saint Brigid and Fionn Mac Cumhaill,” said Derek Dolan with Failte Ireland.

“It offers a unique tourist experience and a huge amount of work has gone in to it from Tom and his team at the Heritage Centre. The experience will be made available in French, German and Chinese which will help to draw more visitors here.”

The band Kila, who produced the score for the experience, played a sample of their work at the launch. The piece played was written specifically for the Legends of Kildare.

Project Manager Brian Hickey said the experience is a celebration of Kildare’s history, which is also reflected in the music.

“We gave Kila a brief of what we wanted their music to express and they put together the soundtrack to Legends of Kildare,” he said.

The experience was developed with an investment of €156,000 by Fáilte Ireland alongside financial support of €44,000 from Kildare County Council. It was funded under Ireland’s Ancient East Storytelling and Interpretation Grants Scheme. This is one of 19 new technology-driven visitor experiences to open over the coming year including The RaceDay Experience, due to open next spring in the Irish National Stud museum.