A still from the 'Choose Kildare' video
Is County Kildare becoming sheepish?
Has the county which branded itself the Horse County become more woolly in its thinking?
That is the question which might have raced across the minds of those attending Kildare County Council’s monthly meeting on January 30.
It is true that US broadcaster and writer, Garrison Keillor, once described the Curragh’s woolly residents as “racing sheep” due to the coloured identification marks on their wool.
But with the Curragh, Punchestown and Naas racecourses within its borders, not to mention the National Stud, the horse has long been a key brand for the county.
Today, many might mention the presence of Intel, Hewlett Packard or the Kerry Group as distinguishing marks, but the horse has a major role to play.
But after elected members saw the Local Enterprise Office’s new two minutes “Choose Kildare” business investment video, Cllr Seamie Moore was not too sure about the iconic horse. “Kildare is seen as a rich county because of the horse but when I speak to somebody about it, unless they are from Dubai, I tend to leave out the horses,” he said.
Mayor, Ivan Keatley, quipped: “That is why the sheep are in it.”
The video opens and closes with a softly-lit shot of sheep grazing on a sun-filled plain.
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Cllr Mark Stafford was also impressed with the sunny mid East county portrayal: “We have now joined the Canary Islands. It looks so sunny on the video,” he said about the video which sees Kevin O’Connor, MD of Colourtrend, Malcolm Sheil, President and CEO of Kerry EMEA and Alan and Gary McCormack, of Carve on Leather, speaking of their love for Kildare.
The Council Chief Executive, Peter Carey said the video highlighted the first class quality of Kildare existing businesses. “We have all the necessary infrastructure needed to nurture economic development and incentivise job creation.”
The video was described by Cllr Darren Scully as a great initiative and he thanked LEO chief, Jacqui McNabb, for that.