Chris O’Donnell celebrates Irish heritage with support of Tourism Ireland

American film and TV star Chris O’Donnell is visiting Ireland this week to do a photoshoot at Ashford Castle in Co Mayo for the successful CBS Watch magazine.

The actor has starred in blockbuster movies like Scent of a Woman and Batman Forever, and more recently, in the CBS TV crime drama NCIS: Los Angeles.

Regularly read by about one million people across the US, Watch is the official magazine of the CBS television network. Each issue features behind-the-scenes interviews with CBS stars, as well as impressive photography and exotic destinations.

O’Donnell is here, with support from Tourism Ireland, Aer Lingus and Ashford Castle, to do the photoshoot for a 16-page feature which will appear in the spring 2013 edition of magazine – just as The Gathering 2013 will be really getting under way.

During his time here, O’Donnell – whose paternal ancestors hail from Co Donegal – was presented with a Certificate of Irish Heritage by Mayo TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring. Minister Ring said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to present Chris O’Donnell with a Certificate of Irish Heritage. I’m delighted that he has chosen to visit Ireland for his photoshoot, as his visit will generate significant coverage in the US. Events like this help to maintain Ireland’s profile as a tourism destination.”

Tourism Ireland will be rolling out an extensive programme of promotional activity across the US, and in other important tourism markets, to highlight ‘The Gathering 2013’ – inviting people living abroad who have a connection with Ireland, or simply a fondness for Ireland, to come home and visit next year.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Chris O’Donnell and Watch magazine have chosen Mayo for their spring 2013 photoshoot. It is a tremendous opportunity to highlight and showcase this part of Ireland to a huge American audience. We are particularly pleased that the magazine will be hitting the newsstands across the US in March of next year, just as our promotions for ‘The Gathering 2013’ will be getting into full swing. In the second half of this year, Tourism Ireland will promote The Gathering Ireland to the 70 million people across the world who feel linked by family, friends or otherwise with Ireland. The Gathering will be our biggest ever tourism initiative and will be an invitation to the world to connect with the people of Ireland in business, the arts, sports, communities and public life.”