Kimye depart leaving behind a priceless gift for Irish tourism

Lavish five-star hotels and a cinema in Portlaoise were on celebrities’ Irish itinerary

The Irish honeymoon of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian may prove priceless to the tourism industry with further details of their sojourn expected to emerge in the aftermath of their departure today.

Industry sources have said the “Kimye” phenomenon - whether spotted at some of the most expensive hotels in the land or outside a local cinema in Portlaoise - will not only raise the profile of the country but has the potential to add a completely new visitor demographic.

Some details of their stay have emerged. Despite rumours of Castlemartyr in Cork, the 17th century Castle Oliver in Limerick was in fact their first secret getaway. From there they travelled to the Ballyhoura Mountains where they took in a guided bike tour and a picnic. They even stopped in a local pub for a drink, swapping Cristal champagne for a pint of Guinness.

Later in the week the couple stayed at the lavish five star Ballyfin Demesne in Co Laois. It was from that base they visited a local cinema in Portlaoise to catch X-Men: Days of Future Past (in 3D). More details of their stay are expected to emerge following their departure from Cork airport onboard their private jet today.


A spokesman for Fáilte Ireland described their presence here, and the ongoing fascination with where they might next show up, as "priceless".

“There is an expectation that they will probably tweet and, by social media, disseminate their experiences here and you can’t buy that,” he said.

"There will be a lot of people in the US and across the world who won't necessarily have Ireland on their radar and it's put us on the map for a new demographic."

Tourism Ireland, which markets Ireland abroad, has been keen to take advantage.

Central marketing director Mark Henry said that a forthcoming short film of where Kimye went "will be shared with fans eager to get a glimpse into the lives of Kim and Kanye and with millions of potential holidaymakers around the world".

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times